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Report: Iran nuclear sites well-hidden from Israel, US (ISRAEL HAYOM) Israel Hayom Staff 03/29/12)Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=3729 Israel Hayom Israel Hayom Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Report authored by U.S. Congressional researchers asserts Iran has many well hidden nuclear component workshops that, if missed in a potential military strike, would allow Iran to fully rehabilitate its post-strike nuclear program with relative speed.

A recent report authored by U.S. Congressional researchers suggests that neither Israel nor the U.S. know the location of every nuclear- related facility in Iran, complicating a potential military strike aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

According to the report, Iran’s “workshops” - where nuclear components, including centrifuges, are produced - are widely dispersed and hidden.

The report, compiled by The Congressional Research Service, was based on interviews with unnamed “current and former U.S. government officials familiar with the issue,” Bloomberg reported.

The fact that the location, or the very existence of certain facilities, eludes Israeli and American intelligence diminishes the ability to accurately assess the success of a potential military strike, the analysts argued in the report.

Middle Eastern affairs specialist Jim Zanotti, one of the report’s authors, argued that if an attack on Iran were to spare its “conversion and centrifuge production facilities,” it would greatly reduce the amount of time Iran would require to fully rehabilitate its nuclear program.

Though assessments on a post-strike Iranian recovery period vary wildly, the analysts cited an unnamed official as saying that “Iran probably could rebuild or replicate most centrifuge workshops within six months.”

This report comes as disagreements have arisen between Israel and the U.S. regarding the timing and necessity of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. According to defense officials on both sides of the debate, Israel is concerned that delaying an attack beyond what it calls the “zone of immunity” – the point after which it would become impossible for Israel to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb – would strip it of its independence and make it reliant on the U.S. for defense against the Iranian threat. U.S. officials, however, have voiced their desire to postpone the potential attack in order to allow diplomatic and economic pressures to take effect, and possibly eliminate the need for a military attack. The U.S. feels that its superior military capability obviates Israel’s “zone of immunity,” as it would be able to carry out an effective attack at a much later stage. U.S. officials have insisted repeatedly that an Israeli attempt to carry out an independent attack would fail.

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