October 13, 2003 (by Lieven Dewitte) - According to a report in the German Magazine 'Der Spiegel', The Israeli government is drawing up plans to attack Iran's nuclear program. The reports says a special purpose force of the secret service Mossad received the order two months ago to prepare appropriate plans of attack.
The plan calls for the destruction of a half dozen targets by F-16s "simultaneously as well as completely" - an action, described as delicate, but "technically possible."
In 1981 Israel bombed the Osirak nuclear power station
near Baghdad, smashing former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's nuclear program. But a similar air attack against Iran would be far riskier. Its nuclear sites are dotted across vast expanses and Iran's eastern border is 800 miles from Israeli air bases, making bombing sorties vulnerable.
has come to regard Iran as its chief unconventional military threat since the downfall of Saddam Hussein in April.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied having nuclear arms, but Washington has accepted it as a nuclear power since 1969 and analysts say it has up to 200 sophisticated nuclear weapons.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has imposed an Oct. 31 deadline on Iran to prove it is not secretly developing nuclear weapons and also urged it to suspend enriching uranium, which the United States claims could be used to make nuclear bombs.