Sunday, January 07, 2007

Has U.S. given tacit approval for an Israeli nuclear strike against Iran?

Here's something for Congressional committees to ask the White House about: Do the U.S. and Israel have a tacit understanding that Israel will hit Iran with nuclear bunker busters? That seems to be the gist of a report in London's Sunday Times today headlined "Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran."
ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.

Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open “tunnels” into the targets. “Mini-nukes” would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout.

“As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished,” said one of the sources.

[.. .]

Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack.
The whole thing sounds like one of those classic wink-wink, nudge-nudge understandings.
Sources close to the Pentagon said the United States was highly unlikely to give approval for tactical nuclear weapons to be used. One source said Israel would have to seek approval “after the event”, as it did when it crippled Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak with airstrikes in 1981.
Read the rest here. Kind of puts a whole new spin on the Iraq escalation thing. At the least, I'd like to hear more about those meetings between U.S. and Israeli officials in Congressional hearings. Wonder if we will?

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