'UK speeding up planning for potential Iran attack'

'The Guardian' reports UK defense establishment believes US may accelerate plans for targeted strikes against Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities; UK military chief visited Israel 'secretly' this week.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
November 2, 2011 19:50
1 minute read.
Suspected uranium-enrichment facility near Qom

Iranian nuclear program 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The British military is accelerating planning for its part in a potential US attack against Iran's nuclear facilities, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the UK Ministry of Defense believes the US may speed up plans for targeted missile strikes of certain Iranian nuclear targets. The Guardian quoted British officials as saying the UK would assist the US militarily if such a mission were to take place.

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British military officials were exploring where to best position naval ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months in anticipation of an attack, according to the report.

The report came amid media speculation that their were increased calls in Israel's government to act militarily against Iran.

Last week, Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot ran a front-page column entitled, "Atomic Pressure," which alleged that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are in the midst of a campaign to convince cabinet ministers of the necessity of striking Iran's nuclear program. 

On Wednesday, an army source said that British military chief Sir David Richards visited Israel this week.

Richards was a guest of IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, the source told The Jerusalem Post.



He arrived as "part of an annual visit" aimed at maintaining international cooperation, the source added.

The visit was not announced earlier because it is standard practice Britain to refrain from publicizing such visits while they occur.

The army source confirmed that "no announcement was released" during Richards' arrival.

"The IDF has a system of international cooperation which sees foreign figures visit Israel," the source added.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

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