WASHINGTON – US Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz said Wednesday that the Obama Administration has 'prepared military options to strike Iranian nuclear sites in the event of a conflict.
"What we can do, you wouldn't want to be in the area," Schwartz told reporters.
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According to the Bloomberg news agency, Washington has begun escalating warnings that the United States may join Israel should a strike against the Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities be deemed absolutely necessary.
Pentagon officials quoted by Bloomberg said that among the military contingencies prepared are the option of providing aerial refueling for Israeli jets and mounting attacks against the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite Qods Force, regular Iranian military bases and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
"There’s no group in America more determined to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon than the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army General Martin Dempsey told the House Budget Committee on Wednesday.
'US support for strike – a must'
Meanwhile, a poll commission by the Brookings Institution in Washington through the Dahaf Institute found that 81% of Israelis oppose an IAF strike on Iran sans the US' support.
Some 42% of Israelis said a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is the right thing to do, while 34% said they opposed any military move altogether.
The survey also found that 38% of Israelis believe that the US will lend Israel diplomatic support in case of a unilateral strike, 44% believe a strike will embolden the ayatollah's regime and 45% believe it will destabilize Tehran.
As for an actual Israel-Iran war, the poll found that 18% of Israelis believe such a more would last only a few days, 29% said it is likely to last several months and 22% foresee a military campaign lasting several years.
But will such a strike be effective? Some 22% of Israelis said a strike on Iran would only delay its nuclear program by about five years, 18% said it would make no difference at all and 11% said it is likely to accelerate the Islamic Republic's nuclear efforts.
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