Tuesday, August 21, 2012
By Paul Martin

8 21 2012

WASHINGTON – Analysts say because Israel now believes diplomacy has failed to halt Iran’s nuclear program and the Jewish state’s very survival is at stake, Israelis have not ruled out a Jericho III missile launch to detonate a single electromagnetic pulse warhead at high altitude over central Iran.

The assessment is underscored by recent comments from Israeli officials that the Islamic republic is reaching its “zone of immunity” from conventional military attack on its nuclear sites.

In addition, analysts point out the use of long-range aircraft with refueling capability would be highly complex and pose many logistical problems. Israel also probably would not be allowed overflight permission from Turkey, Iraq or Saudi Arabia to reach its Iranian targets. Further, such an approach would minimize any element of surprise.

Meanwhile, top religious and political officials in Iran have issued repeated warnings they plan to obliterate the Jewish state.

Israel has made an assessment that Iran is on the threshold of a breakthrough to make a nuclear weapon. However, some national security experts, including some in the United States, believe Iran is several years away from making such a device. And they say actual weaponization – the ability to miniaturize a nuclear bomb to fit on its nuclear-capable missiles – still is further off.

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