March 12, 2005


Revealed: Israel plans strike on Iranian nuclear plant (Uzi Mahnaimi, 3/13/05, Sunday 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 Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant in the desert to practise destroying it. Their tactics include raids by Israel’s 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 Israel’s way if all international efforts to halt Iranian nuclear projects failed.

If George W. Bush weren't such a moron you'd be impressed that he's turned his own bellicosity into the most moderate position the EU can hope for on Iran. As well as he works with Blair, he and Ariel Sharon are an even more formidable team.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 12, 2005 7:58 PM

Same, in most salient respects, as the good cop.

Posted by: ghostcat at March 12, 2005 8:50 PM

It's logical that Israel will be the one to pound Hell out of their nuclear facilities. Iran will retaliate of course. What happens next?

Posted by: Tom Wall at March 12, 2005 9:58 PM


How would Iran retaliate?

Posted by: sam at March 12, 2005 10:27 PM


How will Iran retaliate?

Posted by: sam at March 12, 2005 10:28 PM

Impotent stuttering would be my guess.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at March 12, 2005 10:50 PM

It won't be Israel--that would be too inflammatory. It will be us.

Posted by: at March 12, 2005 10:52 PM

I agree with ______. It will be us. Its going to take the big ones - the B-52s

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 12, 2005 11:20 PM

I'd bet stealth bombers. There would just happen to be a few explosions which would happen to destroy Iran's nuclear capability and nobody would happen to know what caused them.

Posted by: Bret at March 13, 2005 1:14 AM

How might Iran retaliate?

As long as you're asking, one may assume:
1. Hizbullah from South Lebanon (armed to the teeth with missiles of various ranges and various warheads---but that's merely Israel's problem).
2. Syria from Syria (ditto).
3. Hizbullah (and allied) cells in Latin America, Europe and other locations, e.g., Canada and perhaps the US (not just Israel's problem).
4. Iranian embassies and consulates in various locations (ditto).

Along with a long time-line and admirable patience and planning, as it's not unheard of for Iran to nurse grievances over several years, decades, centuries.

Any action, it seems to me, will have to take out the regime as well.

This does not mean that an action should be avoided and the status quo allowed to develop (and fester). All it means is that Iran has certain options.

As long as your asking....

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 13, 2005 1:58 AM

There is no way the Israelis will do this. First, there is no single nuclear facility in Iran, as they are not stupid and did learn from the Iraqi debacle.

Second, there is no indication that the foreign personnel involved in the Iranian nuclear program are in the tank like the French were. After Mitterand became President, French intelligence all but had giant signs in Hebrew with arrows saying 'Bomb Here.' There were homing devices in the Osirak facility.

Third, the Iranian government is close to toppling of its own weight. If the Arabs of Iraq, who are seen by Iranians as no better than livestock can have a functioning democracy why can't Iran? An attack will only serve to rally Iranians, of all faith communities, around the mullahs.

Finally, if the Iranians did attack the Israelis with a nuke, the Israeli, and possibly American, retaliation would destroy Iran completely. The Iranian mullahs may be funny-looking and they may have no problem sending millions to their deaths for religious reasons, but they have no desire to join them.

Keeping the pressure on though does have the effect of keeping the Euros in line.

Posted by: Bart at March 13, 2005 8:30 AM


All we had to do was shoot down one passenger jet and they left us alone.

Posted by: oj at March 13, 2005 8:41 AM

Regarding Syria and Hezbollah, how is anything they will do any different from what they are doing now? If they could act differently (i.e. cause more damage), they would already have done so. As regards Latin America, Europe and others, it's just your imagination.

Posted by: sam at March 13, 2005 9:41 AM

"As regards Latin America, Europe and others, it's just your imagination"

And even if it isn't, as Saddam learned the hard way, even covering your tracks really well (or even being a guilty bystander) won't protect you if you are at the top of the "To Do" list if something nasty happens in the wrong places.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 13, 2005 2:31 PM