Israeli military officials doubt their country’s ability to attack Iran

4 mins read
Israeli military officials doubt their country's ability to attack Iran

Israeli military officials doubt their country’s ability to attack Iran

As diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program continue, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz instructed his forces to prepare for a military option against Tehran and warned that Israel would take up the matter alone if the Vienna talks did not sufficiently restrain Iran.

Many current and former Israeli military officials feel that Tel Aviv lacks the ability to launch an attack that could destroy, or even significantly delay, Tehran’s nuclear program, the New York Times reported.

Authorities said there could be minor attacks that could damage parts of Iran’s nuclear program, but not completely disable or terminate it.

He also stressed that broader efforts to destroy dozens of nuclear facilities are beyond the current capabilities and resources of the Israeli Armed Forces.

Retired Israeli Air Force General Rilke Shafir, who was a pilot in the 1981 attack on the Iraqi nuclear facility, commented on the subject;

Israeli military officials doubt their country's ability to attack Iran“It is very difficult, if not impossible, to launch an attack that will seriously damage all of these Iranian nuclear facilities. Iran has dozens of nuclear facilities, some of which are deep underground, where it is difficult for Israeli missiles to penetrate and destroy quickly. The Israeli Air Force doesn’t have warplanes big enough to carry the missiles that pierce the bunkers. They have to hit them frequently with less effective missiles to damage them, a process that can take days or even weeks. Currently, only the US Air Force can carry out these attacks.”

An unnamed senior Israeli security official said it would take at least two years to prepare for an attack that could seriously damage Iran’s nuclear project.

Another present official said that Israel currently does not have the ability to cause significant damage to underground nuclear facilities in the Natanz and Fordo regions.

Pointing out that such an effort would be complicated by the lack of refueling planes, the official said, “The ability to refuel is crucial for an attack that may have to travel more than 2,000 miles round-trip, bypassing Arab countries that do not want to be refueling stations for an Israeli attack.”

Israel has ordered 8 new $2.4 billion KC-46 tanker aircraft from Boeing for air refueling, but is unlikely to receive them until late 2024.

But some other military experts suggest that Israel could destroy some key Iranian nuclear targets even without new aircraft and equipment.

“We have the ability to refuel,” said Amos Yadlin, a former Air Force General who participated in the 1981 attack. We have missiles that can penetrate bunkers. We have one of the best air forces in the world. We have very good intelligence on Iran. We can make massive attacks. Can the US Air Force do this better? Absolutely. There is a more capable air force. But they don’t have the will,” he said.

Yadlin added that he believes an attack on Iran should be a “last resort”.

Israeli officials refuse to discuss the red lines Iran must cross to justify a military attack.

But a senior defense official said Israel would have to step up its countermeasures if Iran began enriching 90 percent pure uranium as weapons-grade fuel.

US officials reported that Iran is currently enriching uranium up to 60 percent.


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