U.S. and Israel Plan Attacks on Iran04/03/2012 17:44
Obama administration officials are escalating warnings that the U.S. could join Israel in attacking Iran if the Islamic republic doesn’t dispel concerns that its nuclear-research program is aimed at producing weapons.
Four days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to arrive in Washington, Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz told reporters the Joint Chiefs of Staff have prepared military options to strike Iranian nuclear sites in the event of a conflict.
“What we can do, you wouldn’t want to be in the area,” Schwartz told reporters in Washington yesterday.
Pentagon officials said military options being prepared start with providing aerial refueling for Israeli planes and include attacking the pillars of the clerical regime, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite Qods Force, regular Iranian military bases and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Pentagon plans are classified.
“There’s no group in America more determined to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon than the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Joint Chiefs Chairman Army General Martin Dempsey told the House Budget Committee yesterday. “I can assure you of that.”
Separately, unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Post that U.S. military planners are increasingly confident that sustained attacks with the Air Force’s 30,000-pound (13,608 kilograms) “bunker-buster” bombs could put Iran’s deeply buried uranium-enrichment plant at Fordo out of commission.