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Strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities remains an option amid growing regional tensions

A strike against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would reportedly be much more complex; nuclear facilities are spread out, heavily fortified and well defended.

Fighter jets from the IAF's second F-35 squadron, the Lions of the South, fly over southern Israel, January 2020. (IDF spokesperson)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently warned once again that the Jewish state might be forced to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities if international diplomacy fails to prevent the ayatollah regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.

“The reality in our region is changing rapidly. We are not stagnating. We are adapting our combat doctrine and our possibilities for action in keeping with these changes,” said the prime minister in reference to Iran’s rapid nuclear advances and regional aggression.

“We are committed to acting against the Iranian nuclear program, against missile attacks … and against … what we call a multifront campaign,” added Netanyahu, clearly warning the ayatollah regime and its terrorist proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iranian-backed Islamists in Syria, as well as the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Danny Citrinowicz, a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies’ Iran Program, told The Media Line that Iran’s uranium enrichment has expanded dramatically.

“Iran has progressed greatly in its uranium enrichment,” said Citrinowicz.

While military experts recognize Israel’s capability to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, there are different opinions concerning the lasting impact of a such a move.

“Iran cannot be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons. It can only be delayed,” stated Citrinowicz.

His assessment is based on the premise that institutionalized nuclear knowledge cannot be wiped out and Iran can potentially rebuild damaged nuclear facilities. Critics used the same argument when they opposed Israel’s strike on the Iraqi nuclear reactor Osirak in 1981.

However, the former Saddam Hussein regime never rebuilt the bombed reactor outside of Baghdad. There are currently only speculations on what the ayatollah regime would do the day after a potential Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear program.

A strike against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would reportedly be much more complex than in the past because Iran’s nuclear facilities are spread out, heavily fortified and well defended. In addition, Iran is located a considerable distance away from the Jewish state (over 1,000 miles), which would push the Israeli Air Force’s refueling capability to its limit.

Retired Israeli Maj.-Gen. Yaakov Amidror, senior fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security and former national security advisor, believes that the Jewish state has the military capability to launch a strike against Iran. However, he cautions that if implemented, it would be one of the most complex operations in Israeli military history.

“For Israel, this would be a very complex operation, which would entail the whole of the Israeli Air Force being airborne at once, then reaching Iran – probably being targeted on the way – and successfully attacking Iran,” Amidror explained.

Meanwhile, Iran is reportedly also advancing in its missile development. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force unveiled an alleged hypersonic missile on Tuesday, claiming it could “evade all defense systems.” While Iran has an extensive missile program, the new missile’s operational capabilities are currently unclear and untested.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant responded to the new Iranian missile announcement, saying that Israel had the capability to respond to any Iranian weapons system.

“I hear our enemies boasting about weapons they are developing. To any such development, we have an even better response — whether it be on land, in the air, or in the maritime arena, including both defensive and offensive means,” stated Gallant.

The Israeli defense minister also warned that Israel would bomb the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group “into the stone age” if it “makes a mistake” by initiating a military aggression against the Jewish state.

"We will know how to defend the citizens of Israel and how to strike our enemies with a decisive blow, heaven forbid, they initiate a war with us," warned Gallant.

While Israel has stressed it prefers an international diplomatic solution to the complex and growing Iranian threat, it is nevertheless maintaining the military option on the table as a strong plan B.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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