London: An Israeli air strike would not be able to destroy Iran`s nuclear programme with its current Air Force, an influential defence report has concluded.
The authoritative military journal Jane`s Defence Weekly claimed that Israeli military planners’ options are restricted to high risk choices, such as a long range missile bombardment from Israel or a special forces raid involving troops attack facilities on the ground.
The report also cast doubts on Israel’s ability to mount a successful operation saying it would face ‘substantial difficulties’, The Telegraph reports.
“The significant distances involved and hardened features of Iran`s nuclear facilities make any `massive surprise` aerial attack a very high-risk operation for Israel to undertake on its own,” the journal concluded.
Senior Israeli officials have warned the country is prepared to take unilateral action to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb.
Experts, however, believe, it would be extremely difficult for any nation to attack Iran’s underground nuclear sites.
“This is not going to be one strike and they are out, not like Syria or Iraq where facilities were not underground, it is much harder than that,” the paper quoted Malcolm Chalmers of the Royal United Services Institute, as saying.
According to the paper, a former Special Air Service (SAS) commander pointed out that any attack on Iran’s nuclear facility would be ‘risky’.
“I wouldn`t say it was impossible but I would be very surprised if they tried to do it, it would be pretty high risk,” he said.
He further said the raid, which would probably involve the equivalent of a squadron, around 60 men, would only be able to target one facility, potentially the uranium enrichment site at Fordow which is under a mountain and difficult to hit from the air.