Israel Readying Iranian Strike?
Israel is taking steps to prepare for a military strike against Iran, Steve Gutkin reports for the AP.
Israel is building up its strike capabilities amid growing anxiety over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and appears confident that a military attack would cripple Tehran’s atomic program, even if it can’t destroy it.
Such talk could be more threat than reality. However, Iran’s refusal to accept Western conditions is worrying Israel as is the perception that Washington now prefers diplomacy over confrontation with Tehran.
The Jewish state has purchased 90 F-16I fighter planes that can carry enough fuel to reach Iran, and will receive 11 more by the end of next year. It has bought two new Dolphin submarines from Germany reportedly capable of firing nuclear-armed warheads — in addition to the three it already has. And this summer it carried out air maneuvers in the Mediterranean that touched off an international debate over whether they were a “dress rehearsal” for an imminent attack, a stern warning to Iran or a just a way to get allies to step up the pressure on Tehran to stop building nukes.
According to foreign media reports, Israeli intelligence is active inside Iranian territory. Israel’s military censor, who can impose a range of legal sanctions against journalists operating in the country, does not permit publication of details of such information in news reports written from Israel.
I continue to be skeptical of such reports, which we’ve been getting for going on three years now. Still, I’m ever-so-slightly less skeptical about reports of Israeli strikes than American ones.
Amusingly, if that’s the right word, Dave Schuler closed our just-concluded episode of OTB Radio (“Hamdan, Cheeks, and Paris Hilton”) encouraging listeners to “keep an eye out” on Iran after the breakdown of talks today.