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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What if an Israeli strike could set Iran back ten years?

A German military expert believes that an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities could set Iran back ten years and not just the 1-3 years that is commonly believed in the US and other Western countries.
In a sharp contrast to the Times analysis, Hans Rühle, a leading German security expert, asserted last week in a lengthy article in the Die Welt that a comprehensive Israel-based bombing campaign could significantly set back, perhaps a decade or more, Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

In the article titled “How Israel can destroy Iran’s nuclear program” Rühle analyzed the number of Israeli fighter jets and bombs necessary to obliterate Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Citing experts, Rühle writes that an extensive bombing campaign is within Israel’s capability to decimate Iran’s ability to continue to make progress on developing nuclear weapons.

According to Rühle, there are 25 to 30 facilities in Iran used for its atomic program, of which six are primary-bombing targets.

He cites the nuclear enrichment plant Natanz, the conversion facility in Isfahan, the heavy water reactor Arak and the weapons and munitions sites in Parchin. In addition, he notes the deep underground enrichment facility Fordow and Iran’s operational nuclear plant Bushehr.

The popular PJ Media news website columnist, David P. Goldman, wrote last week that “Hans Rühle was one of the toughest and most perspicacious analysts in those heady days” during the Cold war period.

Goldman added that “Rühle is highly confident that Israel could knock out Iran’s nuclear program for a decade or more with about 25 of its 87 F-15 fighter-bombers and a smaller number of its F-16s. Each of the F- 15s would carry two of the GBU-28 bunker busters, with the F-16s armed with smaller bombs.

Rühle writes that surveillance “information about Natanz is solid,“ adding that the “project has been observed from satellites and from the location from 'Israeli tourists.'”

He added that Israel strongest bunker buster bombs GBU-28 could destroy the roof of the facility. If the damage is not sufficient, a second GBU-28 could be launched to complete the aim of destruction.

According to Rühle, Israel’s successful obliteration of the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 laid an important precedent. He writes that “many experts believe “ that strikes against Iran’s nuclear operations could set back the program 10 years, or possibly longer, based on present knowledge.

The fighter plane requirement would entail 20 F-15 machines each accompanied with two GBU-28s. He estimates that Israel’s air force has over 87 F-15 planes at its disposal. The conversion Nuclear Technology Center of Isfahan, which is largely vulnerable to attack because its buildings are not underground, could be eliminated with GBU-27 bombs. Isfahan converts the yellow cake process into uranium.

The least difficult challenge for Israel’s air force is the heavy-water reactor Arak, observes Rühle. The above-ground facility could be razed with 10 GBU-10 bombs, wrote Rühle. The strike would require 10 F- 16 fighter jets.

According to Rühe, the most difficult obstacle to destroy is the underground Fordow enrichment plant. He notes that special team forces would have to attack the facility.

The alternative would be to strike the tunnel openings with GBU-28 bombs to plug the entry points for a period of time.

The complex Parchin site remains beyond the International Atomic Energy Agency inspections and it is unclear how many bombs it would take to destroy the over 100 buildings, many of which are buried underground. Nuclear warheads are believed to be worked on in the Parchin plant.
Read the whole thing.

It's important to note that once there is a setback, one never knows whether the facility will ever function again. In Iraq and Syria, once Israel destroyed the nuclear facilities, there was no serious attempt even made to rebuild them.

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1 Comments:

At 5:24 PM, Blogger HaDaR said...

I wonder why everyone "forgets" our cruise missiles and our submarines...

 

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