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Monday, October 29, 2012

That Sudanese weapons factory ought to be worrying Iran

Ron Ben Yishai points out why an alleged Israeli attack on a weapons factory in Khartoum ought to be causing some sleepless nights in Tehran.
In 1985 Israeli jets bombed the PLO headquarters in Tunis, but the fact that the target was situated near the coast helped Israeli forces approach it undetected. Khartoum, on the other hand, is located deep inside Sudanese territory and is surrounded by numerous radar facilities. 
The Sudanese minister said Israeli planes used electronic countermeasures to avoid detection by Sudanese air defenses, but experts say they could have flown over "dead areas" where they could not be detected by radars. In any case, the Sudanese cannot prove Israel attacked the arms factory. 
However, if Israeli jets did carry out the strike, it means it took place some 1,600 kilometers from Israel, nearly the same distance between central Israel and the uranium enrichment plants in Iran – one near the city of Kashan ("Natanz") and the other near Qom ("Fordo"). Therefore, the attack, if it was carried out by Israel, also sent a strong message to Tehran. 
Until now the Iranians did not take Israel's threats seriously. They did not believe Israel had the ability to attack its nuclear installations or that the Israeli government would have the courage to risk losing dozens of pilots and planes. But now, after the attack in Sudan and the bombing of a Syrian reactor in 2007, which foreign media attributed to Israel, the Iranians may reassess Netanyahu and Barak's seriousness when they declare that "all options are on the table."

There is no doubt that the explosions at the Sudanese arms factory have given elements in Khartoum, Gaza and Tehran something to think about.

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