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3 Nov, 2011 11:12

Let’s bomb Iran: Old song, new lyrics

The US and its allies, such as the UK and Israel, may launch a missile attack on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities in the next 12 months, media speculate.

The possible bombing campaign may start after next November’s presidential election in America, reports The Guardian, citing unnamed sources in Whitehall. It also cites sources in UK’s Ministry of Defence as saying that the top brass are penning contingency plans to help the US with attacking Iran, should Washington launch offensive.The military action may be chosen because Iran proved to be surprisingly resilient in the face of the international sanctions and the cyber attack on its nuclear facilities, allegedly perpetrated by American and Israeli hackers, the newspaper says. The damage done by the Stuxnet worm was reportedly less severe than first expected, and Iran has managed to overcome the sabotage.The deadline for the military action is due to Tehran’s intention to move their uranium enrichment centrifuges to the military base dug beneath a mountain near the city of Qom and other heavily-fortified secret locations. Once there, missile strikes will not be able to destroy the equipment, the newspaper was told. The likely timing of the offensive is next spring, The Guardian sources say.At the moment the hawks are waiting next week’s report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, which could be a game changer for the issue.The newspaper says the attack will predominantly involve cruise missile attacks with limited navy engagement. Raids by commando forces may also be called for.Meanwhile NATO Secretary General Andres Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday the alliance has no immediate plans to get involved in the dispute over the Iranian nuclear program.Earlier this week Israeli media reported that Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet is preparing an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. The Jewish State is reportedly arguing the case for an attack on Iran with their American allies.Iran has been under pressure over its alleged intention to develop a nuclear weapon for years. The latest round of sanctions against Tehran was issued by the UN Security Council last year. The Islamic Republic insists that it is pursuing only civilian use of nuclear energy.Even if Iran has not been developing nuclear weapons, with such threats it may well start doing so as a preventive measure, remarks political analyst Chris Bambery.“I cannot imagine a worse alliance [against Iran]: America is the only power in the world to have used atomic weapons; Israel has a secret illegal nuclear program which it denied for years, but it makes it the only nuclear power in the Middle East; and Britain of course the former colonial power providing the means to get those nuclear weapons all those years ago,” he told RT.Russia believes that only diplomatic effort based on reliable evidence and respect to all parties involved can resolve the dispute.