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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

1.06.2007

The Israelis Get Serious

...about Iran:

ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.
Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.

Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open “tunnels” into the targets. “Mini-nukes” would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout.

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

The plans, disclosed to The Sunday Times last week, have been prompted in part by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad’s assessment that Iran is on the verge of producing enough enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons within two years.

Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.


This reads to me like a classic deception ploy, similar to what the Allies did to the Nazis by providing lots of indicators that D-Day would target the Pas de Calais. Given the air defenses the Iranians have purchased from the Russians, it is highly improbable that the Israelis would broadcast targets and weapons packages except as a ruse.

There are at least two reasons why this would make good sense.

The first is that it might prompt the Iranians to move operations from these sites, costing them time and increasing the chance that they might get seen doing so, providing valuable targeting intelligence for later.

The second is that Israel may actually have a decapitation strike in mind, given the unrest in Iran. If the mullahs cannot order these weapons to be used, it is nearly as good an outcome as destroying them outright.

Iran is well aware of how the Israelis took out the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak; they are inclined to believe any attack would follow this pattern.

The Israelis, however, like to surprise, as the Syrians found out in the Bekaa Valley when the Israelis took over their air force ground control transmissions and vectored them in for easy IAF kills, a feat that became known as the Bekaa Valley Turkey Shoot.

Expect the unexpected from the Israelis, provided they get a leader with some testicular fortitude.

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