WASHINGTON - The U.S. government is continuing to aspire for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear problem, but doubts for chances of success are growing, a Washington Post article published on Sunday said.
According to the paper, Israeli officials who visited Washington recently gave the Americans an urgent message regarding Iran: The Islamic Republic was closer to developing a nuclear bomb than Washington realizes, and the moment of decision is approaching quickly.
On Saturday, a New Yorker article said that the U.S. government is planning to massively bomb Iran, and even use nuclear bunker-busting bombs in order to destroy Iranian facilities and development sites containing nuclear weapons.
The Washington Post wrote that despite estimations by American officials that Iran would need another decade before having the bomb, Israel believes that the critical breakthrough could take place within a number of months. Israeli representatives told the Americans that Iran has begun the most advanced centrifugal experiments in a speedier manner than experts predicted in the past.
'Israel preparing its own attack'
The newspaper said that Israel recently leaked its own attack plans, if the United States does not act. The Israeli plan includes aerial attacks, commando raids, a possibility of a missile attack, and even bombs carried on the backs of dogs. The newspaper quotes Israeli newspapers which said that Israel constructed an exact replica of the Natanz nuclear development facility, but the United States does not believe that the operation can succeed without using nuclear weapons.
The newspaper said that the Bush administration is studying the options for a military attack in Iran, and is planning for this possibility in order to pressure Iran by letting it know that such an option is getting closer. Despite that, it does not appear that such an attack would take place in the short term future, and many experts within the administration and outside of it are highly doubtful of the effectiveness of a military operation.
The Post claims that the Pentagon and the CIA are examining the possible targets for the operation, such as the facility at Natanz and the facility for enriching uranium at Isfahan, although a ground operation is not being considered