Newsletter : 11fx1103.txt
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IAF Pilots Drill Over Italy
The Israeli Air Force may have set Lucius Flavius Silva - commander of the Roman X
Legion Fretensis at Masada - rolling in his grave last week as it roared through the
Italian skies. The IAF delegation returned from Sardinia on Wednesday after a week-long
joint training exercise with the Italian Air Force. The exercises, planned months ago,
concluded amid a storm of speculation from Israel's media that leaders in Jerusalem are
planning a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Report: West Ready to Attack Iran
By IsraelNationalNews.com & Ha'aretz
A report in the British Guardian newspaper Wednesday said that the U.S. and the UK were
gearing up for a possible attack on Iran. According to the report, the U.S. has become
increasingly frustrated and concerned over Iran's refusal to end its
enrichment of uranium. Britain has agreed to help, despite some members of the British
government being opposed to providing such assistance.
"In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where
best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over
the coming months as part of what would be an air- and sea-launched campaign," the article
says. Officials said that the U.S. would launch some missile attacks from British ships,
if action was taken against Iran, as well as from the British protectorate of Diego Garcia
in the Indian Ocean,
According to the Guardian, the decision to strike Iran came about as the result of the
successful campaign that resulted in the dethroning of Muammar Qaddafi as dictator of
In a statement, the British Defense Ministry said that "the British Government believes
that a dual track strategy of pressure and engagement is the best approach to address the
threat from Iran's nuclear program and avoid regional conflict. We want a negotiated
solution - but all options should be kept on the table."
Coinciding with the Guardian report, other reports said that Israel was planning its
own incursion against Iran. After reports of a successful long-range military mission in
Sardinia surfaced Wednesday, media rumors said that IDF troops had undertaken what was
essentially a "dry run" of an attack against Iran.
In a statement, Iran said that it would "punish" any violation of its sovereignty, no
matter by whom. ""The United States is fully aware that a military attack by the Zionist
regime on Iran will not only cause tremendous damage to that regime, but it will also
inflict serious damage to the U.S.," a top Iranian general said Wednesday. "We, as the
military, take every threat, however distant and improbable, as very real, and are fully
prepared to use suitable equipment to punish any kind of mistake," the official said.
Ha'aretz cited senior officials who said they believed Iran had regained its
technological capabilities which were severely damaged in a cyber-attack last year. Iran
said the Stuxnet worm infected personal computers of employees at the Bushehr plant, but
not the plant's main systems. The New York Times reported last January that the worm was a
joint Israeli-U.S. effort to undermine Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Iran's military chief warned Wednesday that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear
development sites will come at a heavy price, according to the Iranian ISNA news agency.
Responding to reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been trying to gain a
majority in the cabinet for an attack on Iran, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff
of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, warned both Israel and the U.S. against such a
"The U.S. officials know that the Zionist regime's military attack against Iran will
inflict heavy damages to the U.S. seriously as well as the Zionist regime," ISNA quoted
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland commented on the possible Israeli
strike against Iran on Wednesday, saying "I'm not going to comment on stray press reports
out of Israel. I'm going to send you to the Israeli government for its views on these
things. We remain committed to Israel's security. We and Israel share a deep concern about
the direction that Iran is taking," she added.
According to Western experts' analyses, an attack on Iran in winter is almost
impossible, because the thick clouds would obstruct the Israel Air Force's
And also on Wednesday, Israel test-fired a ballistic missile at the Palmahim Israel
Defense Forces base in central Israel. The test was part of an examination of a new
missile currently being developed by the defense establishment. The missile left behind a
fire trail that could be seen throughout central Israel.
Development of the multi-staged missile was begun in 2008 using the operational Jericho
III missile as a base, which defense officials said at the time would be capable of
carrying "conventional or unconventional payloads."
A U.S. Congressional report on the Jericho initiative in 2004 estimated Israel's plans
to develop a ballistic missile would give Israel the ability to deliver a payload of
1,000-1,300 kilograms to anywhere in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and most of
North America. An Israeli defense official told the Associated Press that the military
tested a "rocket propulsion system" in an exercise planned long ago.
Israel considers Iran a clear and present danger. Officials in Jerusalem cite Tehran's
nuclear program, repeated references by Iranian leaders to Israel's destruction, and
Iranian support for Hizbullah and Hamas.
Iran denies allegations that it aims to produce a bomb, saying its nuclear program is
meant only to produce energy for the oil-rich country. But western diplomats say they have
reliable intelligence Iran has sought nuclear technology which only has military
Israeli Press Tries to Save Iran from Attack
Parts of the Israeli press, led by high-circulation newspaper Yediot Acharonot, are
trying to sabotage a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities by lifting the
veil of secrecy from the matter and turning it into the talk of the town.
Minister Benny Begin blasted "former senior members of the security establishment" who
he said are creating the public debate, without naming them. The discussion in the press
"is insane anarchy, an evil deed that results from some people's egomania," he said.
A daily column in Yediot asked, "Should Israel attack in Iran?" While the headline is
followed by both pro and con columns, media watchdog "The Seventh Eye" explains that the
newspaper's answer is obviously "no."
The website's Shuki Tausig explained: "The 'no' peeks out of the way the matter is
presented, is hinted in the analysis columns and most of all, hovers overhead as the only
possible meaning of holding a public debate on the matter."
Yediot Acharonot is ferociously opposed to Binyamin Netanyahu, as are most press
outlets. Only Yisrael Hayom is considered respectful toward Netanyahu and is
therefore mocked as his lapdog. Yisrael Hayom quotes Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar who
said: "Stop blabbing about Iran." A senior diplomatic source quoted by the paper says that
the public debate endangers state security.
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