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Monday, March 19, 2012

CNN panel on whether Israel will strike Iran

Here's a CNN panel on whether Israel will strike Iran - it's from Fareed Zakaria's GPS show on Sunday.

Let's go to the videotape.

By the way, Haaretz is not 'Israel's main newspaper' as the 'Israeli' claims. It has one of the lowest circulations of any Israeli newspaper.

An accompanying article speculates that Israel may attempt to hit as many as eight sites with their F-15I jets (Hat Tip: MFS - The Other News via Israel HaYom).
They envision a much more complicated attack, one that would involve more than 100 planes -- from fighters to refueling tankers -- flying hundreds of miles to bomb up to eight targets around Iran.


There would be at least four primary targets, said Emily Chorley, a nuclear expert at Jane's: the Natanz and Fordo nuclear enrichment plants, the Esfahan uranium conversion facility, and the Arak nuclear complex.

Esfahan and Arak are above ground and are "relatively vulnerable to aerial attack," she said.

But Natanz, in the center of the country, is buried under 33 feet of earth and 6 feet of concrete, Chorley said, making it "very hard to penetrate."

Fordo, near the holy city of Qom, is "even more difficult" because it is deeply buried in a mountain, she said.

Dropping a bunker-busting bomb on Fordo actually might make it less vulnerable, Chorley said, since collapsing the entrance without destroying the facility would protect it from further bombing.

"It's questionable whether Israel is capable of destroying it in an air-launched attack," she said.

"Just getting Natanz and Arak without getting Fordo wouldn't be worth the risk," she argued, since Fordo is enriching uranium to higher levels than the other sites.

All four targets are protected by S-200 and Hawk surface-to-air missile batteries, said Chorley's colleague, Jim O'Halloran, a specialist in land-based air defense.

Israel would have at least two secondary targets as well, Chorley predicted -- the Tabriz and Imam Ali missile bases in the west, "to prevent a retaliatory missile attack" on Israel.

It also could try to strike the controversial Parchin military base east of Tehran, which inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency have been trying to visit, Chorley said.

Israel also might target the Bidganeh military base, which suffered a mysterious explosion in November. That would bring the number of potential targets to eight.

Iran's single declared civilian nuclear reactor probably is safe, Chorley said.

An attack on the Bushehr reactor would risk spreading nuclear contamination, and could mean killing Russian personnel at the Russian-built facility, infuriating Moscow.
Read the whole thing.

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At 8:25 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Carl, there's some sort of problem with the video in this thread. In both my Firefox 11 (with NoScript fully enabling the page) and with IE 9, the video doesn't even show, just a blank space. :-(


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