U.S. counters Israeli claim Iran nuclear facility bomb-proof
Gen. David Petraeus tells CNN that U.S. has developed contingency plan, but prefers to push on diplomacy.
A top U.S. commander on Sunday countered Israeli claims that Iran had constructed its nuclear facilities to be resistant to attack.
Gen. David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command, told CNN's Christine Amanpour that Washington had developed a contingency plan for dealing with Iran's contentious nuclear program.
While he did not elaborate on what that plan may be, he did say: "It would be almost literally irresponsible if CENTCOM were not to have been thinking about the various 'what ifs' and to make plans for a whole variety of different contingencies."
He added that the U.S. preferred to continue its efforts in diplomacy, but said: "There's a period of time, certainly, before all this might come to a head, if you will."
Patraeus would also not respond to speculations regarding Israeli threats to attack the Iranian facilities. However, he did say that the facilities were not bomb-proof.
"Well, they certainly can be bombed," Patraeus told CNN. "The level of effect would vary with who it is that carries it out, what ordnance they have, and what capability they can bring to bear."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said late last month that a regular military attack on Iran's recently discovered nuclear plant would be close to impossible, adding that the Islamic Republic had been working on that underground facility for years.
"The facility in Qom is in a bunker and therefore resistant to regular bombs," Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "What the Iranians have recently revealed, according to their own decision, is a site that was under construction for years."
"The project of the decade will continue," added the defense minister.
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