Report: Iran strike to delay nuke work by 6 months (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Ynet Published: 03.28.12, 23:31)
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Effect of strike on Iran´s ability to acquire nukes ´unclear,´ US
congressional report says; dispersal of Tehran´s nuclear sites would
pose major difficulty for Israel, researchers say
An Israeli strike on Iran would only halt Tehran´s nuclear project by
six months, a former official told US congressional researchers
according to a newly released report obtained by Bloomberg.
The report says that the wide dispersal of Iran´s nuclear facilities
would pose a major difficulty for Israel should it attempt to curb
Tehran´s nuke program.
According to researchers, the potential effect of a military strike
on Iran´s ability to acquire nuclear weapons is "unclear." Moreover,
the United States and Israel cannot pinpoint all of Iran´s nuclear
sites, researchers say.
The report cites a senior Israeli official who reportedly told
cabinet in September 2011 that “we have no ability to hit the Iranian
nuclear program in a meaningful way.”
Former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency
Director Michael Hayden is cited for asserting that "airstrikes
capable of seriously setting back Iran’s nuclear program were ‘beyond
the capacity’ of Israel.”
Given the difficulties in permanently setting back Iran’s nuclear
program, some Israeli officials reportedly said Israel may "feel
compelled to mount periodic follow-up attacks," the US report says.
Addressing operational considerations for a strike, the report says
that although a strike on nuclear sites in Esfahan, Natanz, and
Arak "might require deploying only 20% of Israel’s top-line fighters
purchased from the United States, it would probably require 100% of
the most capable - the IAF’s 25 F-15Is."
The researchers also note that Israel possesses Jericho II medium-
range ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting targets within
"They could be used against above-ground targets and free up aircraft
to focus on hardened targets or those less amenable to missile
attack," the researchers write. "However, whether these ballistic
missiles have the accuracy and capacity to destroy such targets in
Iran is unclear." (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 03/28/12)
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