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In the Crosshairs: Israel Holds Drill for Strike on Iranian Nuclear Program

May 18, 2022

by: Kate Norman

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Israeli Air Force and US Air Force jets in the annual Juniper Falcon exercise in Israel

Wednesday, 18 May 2022 | As the talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran remain on ice, Israel is preparing for the event that it will have to take stopping Iran’s nuclear aggression into its own hands.

Israeli jets will rehearse a strike on Iran, the Times of Israel reported, during the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF’s) Chariots of Fire exercise this month. The four-week war games will involve all hands on deck, as nearly every IDF unit is set to take part in practicing a scenario that involves Israel’s enemies attacking on multiple fronts.

Several Israeli fighter jets will take part in the exercise, simulating a strike on Iranian nuclear targets, the Times of Israel reported.

Israel has vehemently objected to a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, asserting that the restrictions are not enough to deter Iran’s nuclear development and that the regime will continue working under the table to develop a nuclear weapon regardless of a deal.

Instead of relying on international world leaders to take a hardline stance with Iran in the Vienna nuclear talks, Israeli leaders have for over a year been touting “military options” to the nuclear problem.

And over the past year, the IDF reportedly has been preparing for such an option, as seen in Chariots of Fire.

In fact, US Air Force refueling jets are set to participate in the drill simulating a strike on Iran’s nuclear sites, Israel’s Channel 13 reported yesterday.

The report did not cite its sources, but American participation in the drill would certainly be sending a strong message to Iran, as the regime in Tehran has stalled the nuclear talks by demanding that Washington remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

While the talks remain on ice, centrifuges continue spinning at Iranian nuclear sites, enriching uranium to higher and higher purities, drawing ever closer to a nuclear weapon.

In fact, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned yesterday at a conference that Iran is installing an additional 1,000 advanced centrifuges, putting the regime a mere “few weeks” away from stockpiling enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb.

Gantz’s estimate matches that of the US, as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced last month that Iran’s “breakout period is down from about a year…to just a few weeks or less.”

Gantz is currently in the US to meet with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin tomorrow at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. At the same time, head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) landed in Israel yesterday.

The US–Israeli cooperation comes at a crucial time amid Iran’s race to the nuclear bomb.

“The price for tackling the Iranian challenge on a global or regional level is higher than it was a year ago and lower than it will be in a year,” Gantz warned yesterday.

Posted on May 18, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 18, 2022)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

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