Press TV – March 11, 2012
As Israeli officials escalate war rhetoric against Iran, a retired American air force general says Tel Aviv lacks the adequate military equipment, including suitable warplanes, to attack Iranian nuclear sites.
Dave Deptula told the US National Public Radio (NPR) on Saturday that although Israeli warplanes successfully destroyed an Iraqi nuclear site in 1981 and attacked Syria in 2007, Iran is a more difficult military challenge that involves dozens of potential targets.
He added that the Israelis “just don’t have enough aircraft of the right warplanes” for an attack on Iran.
“There is a capacity issue. The number of aim points or target points that one would want to respond against is relatively large…to set back the [Iran's nuclear energy] program a significant period of time,” the retired general said.
Deptula further stated that even for the US, any air campaign against Iran would be a long, complex operation.
“This [air strike on Iran] is not a walk in the park. It would require an orchestrated campaign of some duration, weeks not days, against a wide variety of very challenging target sets,” he added.
Deptula went on to say that those who talk about airstrikes and bombing need to answer this question, “What are you trying to achieve?”
“If it’s halting Iran’s nuclear program for good, it may take more than air strikes,” he said.
Earlier, defense analyst of the Lexington Institute Dan Goure told NPR that any Israeli strike might set back Iran’s program by no more than a year or two.
“Israel might have a sophisticated air force, but not the kind needed to destroy Iran’s nuclear program…. They don’t have the aircraft to carry the really big bombs,” he added.
According to Goure, Israeli planes can only carry bombs weighing a maximum of 2,000 pounds.
“Only the Americans have the planes that can carry 30,000-pound bombs designed to eliminate the type of underground facilities Iran has constructed,” he said.
The US and Israel have been escalating their war rhetoric against Iran in recent months, claiming that there is diversion in the country’s nuclear energy program towards a weapons program.
Tehran refutes their claims noting that as a member of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has every right to peaceful uses of the nuclear energy.