US spells out [contingency] plan to bomb Iran


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

US spells out plan to bomb Iran

IAN BRUCE, Defence Correspondent
May 16 2006

THE US is updating contingency plans for a non-nuclear strike to cripple Iran's 
atomic weapon programme if international diplomacy fails, Pentagon sources have 

Strategists are understood to have presented two options for pinpoint strikes 
using B2 bombers flying directly from bases in Missouri, Guam in the Pacific and
Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

RAF Fairford in Gloucester also has facilities for B2s but this has been ruled 
out because of the UK's opposition to military action against Tehran.

The main plan calls for a rolling, five-day bombing campaign against 400 key 
targets in Iran, including 24 nuclear-related sites, 14 military airfields and 
radar installations, and Revolutionary Guard headquarters.

At least 75 targets in underground complexes would be attacked with waves of 
bunker-buster bombs.

Iranian radar networks and air defence bases would be struck by 
submarine-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles and then kept out of action by 
carrier aircraft flying from warships in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.

The alternative to an all-out campaign is a demonstration strike against one or 
two high-profile targets such as the Natanz uranium enrichment facility or the 
hexafluoride gas plant at Isfahan.

UK sources say contingency plans have also been drawn up to cope with the 
inevitable backlash against the Basra garrison in neighbouring Iraq.

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