Study: Bombing Iran will take
Fri, 19 Sep 2008 19:09:20 GMT
Senators Obama (L) and McCain (R)
at ground zero in NY
A bipartisan group says the US must strike Iran's nuclear sites many times
'over a period of years' to halt the program successfully.
A recent study conducted by the Bipartisan
and prepared under the guidance of former senators Republican Daniel Coats and
Democrat Charles Robb suggests that the next US
president would be wise to make contingency plans for a military attack against
Contrary to the findings of the UN nuclear watchdog, the US accuses Tehran
of pursuing nuclear weapons. In its latest report, the International Atomic
Energy Agency announced that it could not find any 'components of a nuclear
weapon' or 'related nuclear physics studies' in Iran.
The release of the Bipartisan Policy Center
report comes ahead of the US
presidential elections that will see Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack
Obama face off on November 4.
Senator McCain says he would
intensify pressure on Iran through sanctions before attacking the country -
under the pretext that Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty (NPT), seeks nuclear weaponry.
Senator Obama, meanwhile, has promised to engage Iran diplomatically to find a
solution to the dispute.
Under US pressure, the UN Security Council has intervened in Tehran's nuclear
case to slap three rounds of sanctions on Iran in spite of the pertinent
international organization, the UN nuclear watchdog, having confirming the
'non-diversion' of Iranian nuclear activities.
After extensively monitoring Iran's
nuclear program since 2003, the IAEA announced that Iran has managed to enrich
uranium-235 to a level 'less than 5 percent' - a rate consistent with the
construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production, meanwhile,
requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.
has been testing new bunker busters capable of bombing underground sites -
such as Iran's
nuclear facilities in Natanz
"A military strike is a
feasible option and must remain a last resort to retard Iran's nuclear
development," reads the bipartisan report.
"However, unless sustained by repeated strikes against rebuilt or newly
discovered sites over a period of years, military action alone is likely only
to delay Iranian nuclear development while entailing risks of retaliation ...
which could quickly escalate to full-scale war."
cites diplomacy as the only means acceptable in clarifying the civilian nature
of its nuclear program and has warned that it would not hesitate to take all
necessary measures to protect the country should it come under attack.
A realistic retaliation would be for Iran
to target US military bases
in the oil-rich Middle East, where American
forces are in no position, according to Iranian officials, to effectively
An Iranian-built fast attack boat with platforms for two
C-701 anti-ship missiles cruise in the Persian Gulf
In its latest measure to prepare for a potential attack
against its soil, Iran
appointed the elite Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces in charge of
securing its interests in the Persian Gulf.
Iran has also announced that
it is fully monitoring the strategically vital Strait of
Hormuz, through which as much as 40 percent of the world's
sea-transited crude oil passes.
says the IRGC could, in times of war, effectively blockade the passage using
high-tech weapons systems capable of targeting any vessel within a range of 300
km (185 miles) from Iranian shores.
The Bipartisan Policy
Center report comes as Israeli threats
against Iran are fueling
speculation that either Tel Aviv or Washington may launch airstrikes against Iran
before George W. Bush leaves the Oval Office.