'Sunday Times' reports Iran targeting Dimona

Former Mossad chief Shavit: Israel should be prepared for worst-case scenario.

Jafari 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Jafari 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
As rumors continue to circulate that Iran may find itself a target of a military strike aimed at destroying its nuclear capabilities, the country has stepped up deterrent efforts by moving ballistic missiles into launch positions and targeting various sites in Israel, including the Dimona nuclear plant, The Sunday Times reported defense sources as saying. According to the report, the decision to reposition a number of Shahab-3B missiles, which have an estimated range of more than 1,250 miles, followed a large-scale military exercise conducted by the IAF earlier in June. Although unconfirmed by the Israeli security establishment, the exercise was widely believed to be an Israeli warning to Iran to halt their nuclear ambitions. The sources told the Times that Iran was preparing to retaliate for any onslaught by firing missiles at Dimona, where Israel's own nuclear weapons are believed to be made. Meanwhile, The New Yorker reported Sunday that Congress agreed in late 2007 to US President George W. Bush's a request to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran in order to destabilize the Islamic Republic's religious leadership. The report was based on a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush - a document that by US law must be issued before a covert intelligence operation is launched, and must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate, as well as ranking members of the intelligence committees. "The finding was focused on undermining Iran's nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change," an unnamed official who was familiar with its contents told the magazine. He said it involved "working with opposition groups and passing money." According to the report, Congress approved the request, for which Bush sought up to $400 million. The New Yorker also reported that US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has privately warned against a preemptive strike on Iran, saying in an off-the-record conversation with the Democratic caucus in the Senate that, "We'll create generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling our enemies here in America." On Saturday, former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit warned in an interview with the British Daily Telegraph that time was running out on the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear targets, since Teheran could attain military nuclear capability within a year. "The time that is left to be ready is getting shorter all the time," he said. "As an intelligence officer working with the worst-case scenario, I can tell you we should be prepared. We should do whatever necessary on the defensive side, on the offensive side, on the public opinion side for the West, in case sanctions don't work. What's left is a military action." The "worst-case scenario," he said, was that Iran would produce nuclear weapons in "somewhere around a year."