Report: Israel forced to change Iran strike tactics
By JPOST.COM STAFF
'Sunday Times' report says Iran's nuke site hidden safe from conventional airstrikes; Israel left with nuclear, ground options.
Israeli military experts have concluded that a conventional strike on Iran’s
nuclear facilities may fail, and have been forced to change their plans
accordingly, The Sunday Times reported Sunday, quoting Western intelligence and
“Israel’s plans have been constantly evolving in recent
years according to the progress Iran is making,” The Sunday Times quoted a
senior defense source as saying.
The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the
veracity of this report.
According to The Sunday Times, Western defense
experts discovered Iran’s Fordow nuclear site is hidden deeper underground than
previously thought and therefore safe from conventional air strikes.
Sunday Times report, quoting Western defense experts, added that due to the
“upgraded” progress of Iranian enrichment, Israel has to change its tactics to
prevent a loss of up to 20 percent of its planes in a conventional air
Defense experts claim Israel have two options, either deploy
special forces on the ground, or use ballistic missiles with tactical nuclear
warheads, the British paper reported.
The report follows a Channel 2
investigation that discovered Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense
Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to raise its alert level ahead of a possible
attack in 2010.
During a meeting of select senior ministers, Netanyahu
allegedly ordered the IDF to raise its state of alert to “Pplus,” reserved for
an imminent state of war, according to the report.
Then-IDF chief of
staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and then-Mossad chief Meir Dagan considered the
order “illegal” and resisted it.
Among the arguments used most against a
solo Israeli attack is an argument voiced by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of
the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said that an Israeli attack could not take out
the Iranian program.
However, setting Iran’s nuclear plans back a few
years to buy time for regime change or other unforeseen developments would be
good in its own right, even if Israel cannot completely take out Iran’s nuclear
program, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said recently, the Post
Netanyahu, in private meetings, repeated a number of times that
before Israel’s 1981 attack on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, the Mossad and
Military Intelligence were opposed because they thought the best that could be
done was to delay the program for a couple of years.
Barak – who has
emerged as the most bellicose minister regarding Iran – told the Knesset, “I
believe that it is inestimably more complicated, inestimably more dangerous,
inestimably more complex, and inestimably more expensive in terms of human life
and resources to deal with a nuclear Iran in the future.”
“There is a
forum of nine [ministers], there is a security cabinet, and when a decision
needs to be made [on an Iran strike] it will be taken by the Israeli
government,” Barak added.
Herb Keinon and Gil Hoffman contributed to this