Time Magazine: How US will attack Iran


Richard Moore

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Time Magazine
Cover Story
Sunday, Sep. 17, 2006
What Would War Look Like?

A flurry of military maneuvers in the Middle East increases speculation that 
conflict with Iran is no longer quite so unthinkable. Here's how the U.S. would 
fight such a war--and the huge price it would have to pay to win it


The first message was routine enough: a "Prepare to Deploy" order sent through 
naval communications channels to a submarine, an Aegis-class cruiser, two 
minesweepers and two mine hunters. The orders didn't actually command the ships 
out of port; they just said to be ready to move by Oct. 1. But inside the Navy 
those messages generated more buzz than usual last week when a second request, 
from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), asked for fresh eyes on long-standing 
U.S. plans to blockade two Iranian oil ports on the Persian Gulf. The CNO had 
asked for a rundown on how a...

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Original source URL:

Time: This is how US will attack Iran

It will take a few days, with thousands of sorties, satellite and laser-guided 
bombs will be aimed at targets ­ 1,500 already planned by Pentagon ­ and will 
try to infiltrate armed concrete, under which some of nuclear sites are hidden. 
Meanwhile, Washington launches diplomatic blitz in attempt to promote sanctions 
on Tehran

Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON - The US government is planning to launch a diplomatic blitz on 
Monday regarding the Iranian nuclear issue at the United Nations headquarters in
New York, where heads of states and foreign ministers have convened for the 
general assembly session.

The United States will work to realize the promises made by Russia and China to 
agree to impose moderate sanctions on Tehran, following its refusal to meet the 
Security Council ultimatum, which expired at the end of August.

A senior source at the State Department declared over the weekend that 
Washington was interested in solving the crisis diplomatically, but admitted 
that his country had no clue what Iran was thinking.

According to the senior source, the government is convinced that Tehran has also
failed to make a decision on the issue so far.

And while the US is exerting diplomatic pressure, the Pentagon is preparing for 
a possibility that US President George W. Bush will eventually instruct the army
to attack Iran .

Time Magazine published details regarding a possible attack, based on talks with
military sources.

According to the magazine, no one in Washington is talking about a ground 
invasion of Iran, as was carried out in Iraq or Afghanistan. According to the 
report, the American goal in case of an offensive will be to delay the Iranian 
nuclear plan, an operation which can be carried out from the air.

Goal: Delaying nuclear plan by 2 to 3 years

The attack, the Time says, will be limited to the nuclear facilities in Iran and
will be aimed at 18 to 30 different facilities connected to the nuclear program.
The sites are spread across the country, some of them exposed, some operating 
under the guise of regular plants, and others buried deep under the ground.

Sources in the Pentagon told the magazine that among the sites the Americans are
familiar with are 1,500 targets for an attack. In other words, the military 
offensive requires activating nearly all types of planes in the army's 
possession: Warplanes and stealth vehicles, F-15 and F-16 aircrafts taking off 
from the land and an F-18 which takes off from an aircraft carrier.

Such an attack requires using satellite-guided weapons and laser-guided 
ammunition, as well as spy planes and unmanned aerial vehicles. Since many 
targets are hidden underground and are reinforced with armed concrete, they will
have to be hit once and again in order to guarantee that they are destroyed, or 
at least severely damaged.

Submarines and American battleships will be able to launch cruise missiles, but 
the Time says that the warheads in this case are small and are not enough to 
cause damage to the concrete. Therefore, they will be used for other targets.

An American attack in Iran may take a few days, with hundreds and maybe 
thousands of sorties. According to the report, it will help in delaying the 
Iranian nuclear program by two to the three years.

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