ISRAEL PLANS FOR NUCLEAR STRIKE ON IRAN

Many reports suggested previously that the Bush administration is planning to use nuclear weapons against Iran to forcefully end its nuclear activities. Today, the Sunday Times newspaper revealed that Israel has drawn up plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities also using nuclear weapons.

The paper however refused to name the sources, it only said that two Israeli air force squadrons are training to bomb the Iranian facility at Nantaz using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters,“ and that conventional laser-guided bombs would open tunnels into the targets.

“As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished,“ the paper quoted one of the sources as saying.

Two other sites, a heavy water plant at Arak and a uranium conversion plant at Isfahan, would also be destroyed using conventional bombs, the paper added.

According to the Sunday Times, the nuclear-tipped “bunker busters“ would be used “only if a conventional attack was ruled out“ and the U.S. refulsed to intervene.

Experts believe that unlike Iraq’s nuclear reactor Osirak, which Israel destroyed in 1981, Iran’s nuclear facilities, which are scattered all over the country, are difficult for Israel to take on alone.

Israeli military commanders admitted that Iran’s nuclear facilities are well-defended, since most of them are built under at least 70 feet of concrete and rock, according to the newspaper.

But military analysts the paper said it spoke to suggest that the disclosure of such plans by Israel, could be just aimed pressuring Tehran to force it stop nuclear enrichment, after a UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran as a punishment for refusing to suspend its nuclear program failed to force the Islamic Republic halt its nuclear activities.

If Israel carried out such nuclear attack, it would be the first since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
While Israel has never admitted having nuclear weapons, it is widely believed to possess a substantial arsenal of such weapons.

And last month, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert acknowledged for the first time Israel’s nuclear weapons, confirming what has been taken granted for decades by much of the world.

In an interview with German television, Mr. Olmert tried to portray Tehran as reckless while placing Israel alongside the accepted nuclear powers.

“Iran openly, explicitly, and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map,” Olmert said.

“Can you say that this is the same level, when you are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel, and Russia?”

Israel has long been claiming that Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies, asserting that its nuclear program is only aimed at meeting the country’s rising demand for energy.

— AJP and Agencies

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