AFP: A senior Israeli official dismissed as “absurd” a report in The Sunday Times that the Jewish state had drawn up plans to destroy arch-foe Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities in a tactical nuclear strike. JERUSALEM, Jan 7, 2007 (AFP) – A senior Israeli official dismissed as “absurd” a report in The Sunday Times that the Jewish state had drawn up plans to destroy arch-foe Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities in a tactical nuclear strike.
“This is absurd information coming from a newspaper that has already in the past distinguished itself with sensationalist headlines that in the end amounted to nothing,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“To think that we will launch an atomic attack against Iran, and on top of that that we would reveal it in advance to a foreign newspaper is doubly ridiculous,” he said.
“The Israeli policy on this dossier, recommended by former prime minister Ariel Sharon and followed by his successor Ehud Olmert, has not changed and Israel is not planning to attack Iran militarily,” he said.
“The solution that we recommend, along with the international community, is that of sanctions imposed on Iran.”
Quoting several Israeli military sources, the British paper said that Israel has drawn up plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities in a tactical nuclear strike using low-yield atomic “bunker busting” bombs.
The weekly quoted the sources as saying that two of the Jewish state’s air force squadrons are training to use the weapons for a single strike.
The plan is similar to one said in a report in the New Yorker magazine last April to have been considered by the United States. The White House dismissed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh’s article as “ill-informed”.
Israel, considered the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, considers Iran its arch-foe because of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated calls for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map.
Tehran says its nuclear program is meant for civilian purposes, but Israel along with the West fears it is a cover for developing the atomic bomb.