If Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons, a military operation against it is inevitable and will take place in 2007, senior U.S. and Israeli specialists say, Israel’s leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.
The experts said the right timing of the military operation will be after Iran reaches advanced stages in operating the nuclear reactor for uranium enrichment and before the end of President George W. Bush’s term
While White House is still warning Iran about its uranium enrichment, which Washington and its allies believe hides a nuclear weapons program, administration goes out of its way to play down reports of planning for military strikes
The United States will lead the attack, but other countries will participate, the experts said.
However, according to the same specialists, the United Nations Security Council could still halt Iran’s nuclear drive by applying political pressure.
“There will be a situation where all disputes in the Middle East will be managed in the shadow of a nuclear Iranian umbrella,” National Security Council head Giora Eiland said.
“Imagine a situation of escalation in the nNrth where Hizbullah is firing barrages of Katyusha rockets on the Galilee and causing human and property damage. Israel is trying to stop the fore and is incapable of doing so through routine means – applying military and political pressure. Should we escalate our response? Deciding in an age where Iran has nuclear weapons we will have to weigh considerations other than those directing us today.”
The Iranians may show restraint in the face of Israel’s actions against the terror groups, but there is doubt whether they will remain quiet in case of attacks on Islamic holy sites.
“Imagine, for example, Iran has nuclear arms and a fanatical Christian group, or even worse Jewish, blows up the Temple Mount mosques,” Eiland said.
Military intelligence data shows that some of the bunkers built by Iran to protect its nuclear sites are impenetrable by conventional bombs. In contrast to recent reports, the U.S. doesn’t intend on using nuclear weapons in the attack.
According to western sources, Iran will respond to a military operation against it by attacking targets in Europe and sites and population centers in the United States.
For this purpose it will use long-range missiles, which it is developing, and terror.
A secretive group in Iran is believed to be working on developing nuclear warheads capable of being fitted to Iranian missiles.
Recently the group succeeded in making the Shehab-3 missile suitable for carrying nuclear heads. At the moment it is developing missiles of 2,500 kilometers range, which could not be intercepted and destroyed by the Arrow missile.
The development is being based on a cruise missile that Iran bought through assistance from corrupt Ukrainian officials.
According to western intelligence, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad belongs to a mystic Shiite order that is trying to accelerate the “al-Mahdi’s Coming”, the Shiite Messiah, among other things by engaging in conflict with the West, with Sunni Muslims, and by destroying Israel. This sect also encourages taking risks.
“What Khamenei and the dominant Ayatollahs say secretly is shouted by Ahmadinejad in his public speeches. By doing so he is doing us a great service,” said Prof. David Menashri, a specialist in Modern Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University.