Israel Vice PM: Military Strike Can Hit All of Iran's Nuclear Facilities

Speaking at Herzliya Conference, Moshe Ya’alon calls the possibility of a nuclear Iran a 'nightmare to the free world,' says explosion at Iranian missile base targeted missile system that would have threatened the U.S.

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Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

All of Iran's nuclear faculties are vulnerable to a military strike, Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Thursday, calling the potential of a nuclear Iran a "nightmare to the free world."

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An aerial photograph showing Iran's uranium enrichment facility just outside the city of Isfahan.Credit: AP

At the closing day of the Herzliya Conference, Ya’alon referred to the many tools at the international community's disposal that could serve to slow down or stop Iran's advancement toward nuclear weapons capability: international pressure, economic sanctions, support of Iranian opposition, and military actions.

Speaking of the possibility of a military strike of Iran's nuclear facilities, the vice PM said that "the West has the ability to strike, but as long as Iran isn't convinced that there's a determination to follow through with it, they'll continue with their manipulations."

"The Iranians believe that a determination isn’t still there, both in regards to military action and in regards to sanctions," Ya'alon said, adding that "any facility protected by humans can be infiltrated by humans. It's possible to strike all Iran's facilities, and I say that out of my experience as IDF chief of staff."

The vice PM's comments seem to counter reported remarks by U.S. defense officials quoted last week by the Wall Street Journal, according to which the Pentagon was not in possession of conventional arms strong enough to destroy all of Iran's nuclear facilities.

Moshe Ya'alon at Herzliya Conference, Feb. 2, 2012.Credit: Tal Nissim

Ya'alon reiterated the Israeli stance that a nuclear Iran was a global threat, saying that "if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, it would be a nightmare for the free world, a nightmare for Arab states…and of course a threat to the State of Israel."

"We'll see a more intense undermining of regional regimes and the acceleration of terror attacks against those regimes, as well as against Israel and western states, with the United States at the forefront," Ya'alon said.

The former IDF chief also indicated that an explosion which virtually destroyed an Iran Revolutionary Guard missile base near Tehran late last year targeted a system "getting ready to produce a missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers, thus threatening the United States."

"The Iranian threat is not a case of Iran Vs. Israel. Israel has never declared war on Iran, but the Khomeinistic regime has declared total war on the States of Israel's very existence," Ya'alon added, saying that Iran was interested in repelling a perceived western hegemony around the world and not just in the Middle East.

Ya'alon's comments came after, earlier Thursday, Military Intelligence Chief Major General Aviv Kochavi said that Iran's ability to obtain nuclear weapons was solely dependent on the will of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, adding that Israel was threatened by about 200,000 missiles at any given time.

Read this article in Hebrew.



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