Yadlin: Keep Iran military options on table
File footage of an Israeli F-15
January 24th, 2012
11:03 AM ET

Yadlin: Keep Iran military options on table

By David McKenzie and Kevin Flower reporting from Jerusalem

Amos Yadlin, the recently retired chief of of Israeli military intelligence, told CNN’s David McKenzie today that while newly announced sanctions against Iran were certainly welcome, the option of using force against the country’s nuclear program should not be taken off the table.

Yadlin sat down with CNN for a rare television interview today in Tel Aviv, the first with a foreign reporter since stepping down from his post as head of army intelligence.

"All strategies all options should be on the table simultaneously," Yadlin said.

"Including a strike against Iran?" asked McKenzie.

"If the Iranians will not see a credible action against their nuclear sites and their facilities, if they will not assess at the end of the day what President Obama has said that he will not let Iran be nuclear by all means, that all the options are on the table. This is very important," explained Yadlin.

President Obama and US military officials have long insisted all options are on the table, including military, but that diplomatic resolution is preferred.

But the former intelligence chief said that if other options don't stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb then the military option should be used.  He told CNN that Israel has a shorter timeline to react to Iran than the United States does and American military officials have said they are not sure they would be given a heads up if Israel decides to act.

But Yadlin has no doubt Iran wants the weapons

"Strategically the Iranians have already decided that they want nuclear weapons," he said.  But he added they haven't decided fully to go through with creating the weapons

"Tactically, the last mile to the nuclear weapon will be done when the Iranians will decide when the strategic conditions allows them to do it in the minimum risk. And this hasn't happened yet," Yadlin said.

Yadlin's assessment, based on the "number of centrifuges, with the number of kilograms of enriched uranium, it will take them between a year and a year and a half," to achieve the goal when if they decide to do it.

Iran’s nuclear program has redundancy and that the country had a variety of ways of getting to its end goal of developing a nuclear weapon, Yadlin said.

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Filed under: Iran • Israel • Nuclear
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  6. Matt

    The facts are we asked for an oil embargo in late 2009 early 2010, then it would have had serious effects, remember we are talking about preventing Iran from developing the bomb. It is now 2012, not 2009/10. The world is always backward in coming forward. And it takes 7 months to be in effect. Is it the type of pressure that will cease enrichment no. And that is what we are arguing about the right to enrich. It is a clear and present danger they must stop.

    They have the missile program, they are enriching a stockpile, they have the modified nose cones and triggers, we have been and are talking about 1000 nuclear missiles in silos in the Persian desert. The Iranian nuclear question are argument is not as clear as people would like it to be. The question of enrichment, the question of developing a bomb. The missile program., solid fuel missiles.

    Iran are very smart. Everyday they deter attack they are winning, stockpile, missiles, long game the Iranians, more conventional missiles (modified nose cones), more enriched Uranium. And we are talking about 1000 missiles in silos in the Persian desert. But we are talking about enrichment, the stockpile grows, the Iranians are smart long term planners.

    You are not meeting your objectives, they are meeting theirs. It is an illusion prevention, that allows them to keep on winning. What the west sees as a back down they see as further progress. Carrier don't comeback, so we send two or three winning. bottleneck. As I said they want the carriers.

    January 25, 2012 at 7:16 am | Reply
  7. The Rock

    Hey little raghead mamoud. I have a little present for you.Too bad you'll never know what it is, as death is instantaneous.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:28 am | Reply
  8. mamoud

    Eye haf noteeced that a lot of posters who abuse the "freedum off speeeech" haf dissappeered recently frum thiss bord. Gudd Jobb CNN!!!! Rememberrr thut I amm Mamoud, the great. Iran will soon be the wurld's souperpower andwee will all be rejoicing att the great power that iss Iran and the US can go two hell if itt theenks the world iss affraid. Iran is the best and the mosdt powerfull anywhere!

    January 25, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply
  9. Daniel

    What I was wondering assuming you fly from Ramon, how many refueling stops do you need to make, mid air or otherwise. Distance and timing are also critical, and the amount of ordinance you can carry is also key. You might not be able to get the underground facility at Qom but you could hit the Bushehr plant and Natanz enrichment facility. Follow that up with Darkovin, Isfahan, Ardakan, and Arak.
    that is a pretty big shopping list, plus you need an escort as well. I think it will come down to how can we get air space to fly over, quietly and make it quick. I am sure there are other places too, but those are the major ones.

    January 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • Sayan Majumdar

      You missed the conception of one-way missions, with the Israeli Defence Force-Air Force (IDF-AF) platforms recovering in nearby friendly bases, thereby bringing most of its targets within strike envelope.


      January 25, 2012 at 6:53 am | Reply
      • Sanchanim

        Good point but which air bases. I am guessing maybe Saudi Arabia or somewhere in Iraq under US control but in any case that is pushing it a lot. You could probably make it there but coming back might be a pain.

        January 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  10. Sayan Majumdar

    Rather than Israeli Air Force (IAF) operated F-15s (above photograph) the key role in case of break out of hostilities will be played by Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 powered F-16I Soufa (Storm).

    The first unit, the Negev Squadron, was reformed at Ramon on July 27, 2003 to operate the two-seat example. Israel's Peace Marble V foreign military sales program has supplied the IAF with 102 F-16I based on current Block 50/52 production aircraft. The second unit to follow were the Orange Tail Knights Squadron, also at Ramon, followed by the Bat Squadron.

    The F-16I was developed on the basis of the F-16ES (Enhanced Strategic) long-range interdictor F-16 proposal enhancing Israel's deterrent strategy by further strengthening the potential threat to carry out retaliatory strikes throughout the Middle East thanks to Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFT) carrying 450 US gallons of extra fuel. The Northrop Grumman AN/APG-68(V)9 multimode radar increases the distance of airborne engagement by 30-percent over the preceding system and affords the Soufa with a high-resolution synthetic-aperture ground mapping capability.


    January 24, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply

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