Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Israel May Strike Iran Next Sunday

Sources close to the Israeli government have warned Executive Intelligence Review that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's inner cabinet is close to making a decision to launch a preventive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. Such a decision, that would be a further step closer to a devastating regional confrontation, could come as early as Sunday, when the Israeli cabinet convenes.

According to the source, a fierce debate is raging within the Israeli military, over whether Israel has the capacity to successfully strike Iran's nuclear facilities at Natanz or elsewhere. Recently former Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Halutz told Israeli media that the IDF does not have the ability to seriously damage the Iranian program. But, according to an Israeli source close to the inner cabinet, several options are being reviewed for just such an attack.

According to the source, in recent visits to Russia, both Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman pressed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for permission to stage attacks against Iranian targets from sites inside Russia. Putin reportedly strongly shut the door on that option; however, similar approaches have been made to the government of Kazakhstan, according to the Israeli source.

The source added that the preferred option, being promoted by factions in the IDF, is to launch attacks from Israeli submarines, equipped with Cruise missiles. The source noted that the accuracy of the Cruise missiles, launched from Israeli submarines is unreliable, and most of the Iranian sites on the Israeli target list are in urban areas.