Israel Poised To Strike Iran
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is seeking cabinet support for a military strike on Iran, Haaretz newspaper has reported. The US and UK also appear to be making contingency plans for such an attack.
The report, citing a senior Israeli official, said Mr Netanyahu was working with Ehud Barak, the defence minister, to win support from sceptical members of the cabinet who oppose attacking Iranian nuclear facilities.
In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air and sea campaign.
They also believe the US would ask permission to launch attacks from Diego Garcia, the British Indian ocean territory, which the Americans have used previously for conflicts in the Middle East.
However there is currently no evidence that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapons program. President Ahmadinejad told CBS NEWS last year:
“The nuclear bomb is a fire against humanity rather than weapon for defense…Its possession is disgusting and shameful…even more shameful is the threat to use such weapons.”
What Iran has is a civilian nuclear power program, which is safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They are also members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Under this treaty only the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China actually possess nuclear weapons. Countries like Israel and north Korea that also have weapons, have not committed to the agreement and are considered rouge threats.
Iran has always been open and compliant about it’s program. In September 2010, they reverified the non-diversion of nuclear material with the IAEA.
A phrase often thrown around in the wrong context is that they have nuclear enrichment – but all nuclear power programs need to enrich uranium. It is the amount of enrichment that would potentially become a problem.
However Iran is only enriching uranium at 20% , which is well within international agreements. This uranium is being used in an American built isotope reactor given to them in 1967. , so is not even close to becoming weaponized. In fact uranium needs to be enriched at 90+ percent before a nuclear weapon can be built. As the BBC notes:
Weapons-grade uranium is at least 90% enriched. Then you would need the capability to turn it in to a warhead and fire it, which Iran does not have.
Despite this Israel test-fired a ballistic missile from a military base in central Israel on Wednesday, Israel Radio said.
The report said the launch was carried out from the Palmachim facility. It quoted a Defence Ministry statement as saying the launch was aimed at testing the missile’s propulsion system. Israel has Jericho missiles widely believed to be capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The reports of Mr Netanyahu pushing for a military strike on Iran came after days of renewed public discussion among Israeli commentators about the possibility that the Jewish state would take unilateral military action against Iran.
Haaretz said that Mr Netanyahu and Mr Barak had already scored a significant win by convincing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to throw his support behind a strike.
This should be extremely concerning news for all citizens of the UK, US and Israel. War with Iran is tantamount to the start of World War 3.
Mainstream Coverage @ The Telegraph