Israel Plans Strike on Iranian Nuclear Plant

Revealed: Israel plans strike on Iranian nuclear plant (Times of London)

ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans for a combined air and ground attack on targets in Iran if diplomacy fails to halt the Iranian nuclear programme. The inner cabinet of Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, gave “initial authorisation†for an attack at a private meeting last month on his ranch in the Negev desert.

Israeli forces have used a mock-up of Iran̢۪s Natanz uranium enrichment plant in the desert to practise destroying it. Their tactics include raids by Israel̢۪s elite Shaldag (Kingfisher) commando unit and airstrikes by F-15 jets from 69 Squadron, using bunker-busting bombs to penetrate underground facilities.

The plans have been discussed with American officials who are said to have indicated provisionally that they would not stand in Israel̢۪s way if all international efforts to halt Iranian nuclear projects failed.

Lovely of the Times to reveal these plans, if true. Of course, this could also be a coordinated leak designed to lend urgency to a diplomatic settlement.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    I’d bet leak… If I remember things right, their version of the F-15 can’t make it home from Iran even with drop tanks.

    Unless Jordan agreeded to flyover or Israel did it anyway, neither of which is incredibly likely.

  2. Jim Henley says:

    Is Israel part of Great Britain or vice verse? I don’t see any ethical issues with the (Murdoch-owned) Times running the story. Whether it’s true is another matter.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Well, presumably, taking out Iran’s plant would be in Britain’s interest, too.

  4. McGehee says:

    When did Murdoch buy the Times of London?

  5. kenny says:

    ” Well, presumably, taking out Iran’s plant would be in Britain’s interest, too.”

    Is there any evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons ?

    The US goverment so far has come with no evidence at all.

    At least in the UK after the Iraq War unless tony can can come up with _*some evidence*_ then a US attack on iran will lead to blair becoming the x-prime minister.

    And a good thing thing too. Blair has lead the most dishonest UK government in my lifetime. There has never been a PM who’s lied with such regularity as Blair.On domestic and foreign policy blairs government has consistently misled the country.

  6. Ron Wright says:

    GAME ON – Let’s Rock!

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  7. Just Me says:

    Guess we can now call them “formerly secret plans.”

    HOnestly, if Israel doesn’t do it, I can easily see somebody else doing it, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea, if the logistics can be worked out.

    The smartest thing Israel ever did was bomb Iraq’s plant back in the 80’s. But I understand that there are a lot of factors that make plans to bomb a plant difficult.

  8. Jim Henley says:

    McGehee, that would be since 1981.

    James, I think you may presume too much. Hell, it may not even be in Israel’s interest, though Israel should be free to make its own mistakes on its own dime. Should that day ever come.

  9. Maggie says:

    The US military no doubt has plans drawn up for attacks on various countries/sites. It is a form of preparedness and military exercises.

    I just kind of hope that we have plans to attack France sometime soon. ;D