Retired Airforce Chief: Aerial Attack on Iran Doable

Yori Yanover — The Jewish Press Oct 26, 2013

Israeli Air Force F16i jets in flight. Click to enlarge

Former IAF chief Gen. (Ret.) Ido Nechustan clarified on Saturday that Israeli planes could attack targets inside Iran if they were required to do so.

“I would not belittle the capacity of the airforce,” Nechushtan said to an audience in Be’er Sheva Saturday morning, Walla reported.

“Should there be an attack, it must serve the end goal and target,” Nechishtan added.

According to the former IAF chief, the military alternative is part of Israel’s available arsenal, with the end goal being a completely nuclear weapons-free Iran.

In referring to the negotiations between the world powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program, Nechushtan said this is a process that’s bound to affect the Middle east for many years to come.

“It presents serious obstacles and difficulties ,” he explained. “We must take into account the possibility that it would succeed, but also that it could fail. The difficulties could lead to a deal that’s bad for Israel. The negotiations will go on and the centrifuges will also continue to operate concurrently. The Iranians are worried that their bluff would be exposed for all the world to see. They want to receive a lot and give a little in an agreement. They are the wizards of negotiations, and they could cause the process to stretch out, lead to the fatigue and quitting on the part of various participants. It’s up to us to prevent the agreement from hurting us.”

Like all the official Israeli spokespersons, Nechushtan added that the sanctions against Iran must be made tougher – although the current trend clearly appears to be in favor of loosening the stranglehold the U.S. and Europe have had on Iran’s economy.

“We don’t want to get to a situation where Iran already has a nuclear weapon,” he cautioned. “We used to think that the production of enriched uranium would take them a long time. But today they have a sufficient amount of enriched uranium, at 20%, and numerous centrifuges. The rule of thumb is that once all the materials and the engineering capabilities to produce a nuclear bomb are in place, it should take one year. The time left until the red line varies, depending on how one views the threat, and today Israel and the United States view the threat differently”.

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