IAF A-4, F-16 jets at Hatzerim_370.
(photo credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen)
Leaks regarding Israeli plans to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities continued
Thursday, raising suspicion within the political and defense establishment that
the Obama administration was intentionally trying to undermine potential
The first report appeared in Bloomberg and, citing a
Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, said that Iran would be able to
recover from a military strike against its centrifuge fabrication plants within
Quoting current and former US officials, the CRS analysts,
who regularly prepare papers for Congress, claimed that the centrifuge workshops
were widely dispersed and hidden throughout Iran.
Due to the dispersion
of the facilities, it is “unclear what the ultimate effect of a strike would be
on the likelihood of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons,” the report
The CRS researchers quoted former CIA director Michael Hayden as
saying in January “that neither the US nor Israel knows the location of all key
Iranian nuclear-related facilities.”
In another report, Foreign Policy
claimed that Azerbaijan had granted Israel access to air bases along Iran’s
northern border for potential use in a military strike against Iranian nuclear
“The Israelis have bought an airfield,” the report quoted an
unnamed US official as saying, “and the airfield is called
Even if Israel doesn’t use the fields for a direct air
strike on Iran, Azerbaijan could still prove useful for Jerusalem’s interests in
the region. The bases could be used as a jumping point for IDF search-and- rescue
units, according to a US intelligence official the report quoted.
officials raised the possibility that the reports were being published to try
and derail possible plans to attack Iran.
Ties between Jerusalem and Baku
have been on the rise in recent years. Foreign media have reported that Israel
Aerospace Industries sold $1.6 billion worth of military platforms to an Asian
country, later identified as Azerbaijan.
The deal was said to include a
Green Pine radar, advanced unmanned aerial vehicles and various missile
A report last month in The Times of London
said that Azerbaijan
was teeming with Mossad agents working to collect intelligence on the Islamic
Republic of Iran, quoting an unnamed agent as saying that Baku was “ground zero
for intelligence work.”
Earlier this month, Azerbaijani security forces
arrested 22 people, including one Iranian citizen, for allegedly plotting to
attack Israeli targets across the country. Baku has tied the plot to Iran’s
Revolutionary Guard Corps.