“Times Of Israel” — Israeli leaders have concluded that conventional air strikes would be insufficient in curbing Iran’s nuclear program, leaving only a deployment of either tactical nuclear weapons or ground forces, according to a report in the British Sunday Times.
Western “defense experts” quoted by the report pointed at the Iranian Fordo facility, which is located deep underground near the city of Qom, as a site that was immune to conventional air strikes.
“The only way to finish off Iran’s nuclear program is by using the nuclear option,” said IDF Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz, the only named source quoted by the report. “But I hope Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] is not mad enough to think about it.”
According to foreign reports, Israel is in possession of a significant arsenal of nuclear weapons, including tactical weapons such as neutron bombs, along with long-range Jericho missiles to deliver them.
Israel also possesses GBU-28 bunker-buster bombs that could be deployed by the Israel Air Force’s F-16 bombers. However, according to assessments, these bombs would not prove sufficient to penetrate the Fordo facility.
Rivals fear Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu is plotting nuclear strike on Iran
By Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv
November 11, 2012 ” Sunday Times” — ISRAEL’S military planners have been forced to conclude that a conventional assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities might fail after evidence emerged that Tehran has hidden far more of its uranium enrichment capacity beneath a mountain than previously suspected.
Western defence experts say much of Iran’s Fordow enrichment site near the city of Qom is now deep underground in a “zone of immunity” safe from conventional airstrikes.
They claim this narrows Israel’s response to two options: the deployment of special forces in a ground attack, or the use of ballistic missiles carrying small tactical nuclear warheads.
The phrase zone of immunity was coined by Ehud Barak, the defence minister, to emphasise that time is running out for Israel as Iran moves closer to being able to make a nuclear weapon.
“Israel’s plans have been constantly evolving in recent years according to the progress Iran is making,” said a senior defence source.