KARACHI: Israel has its eyes set on Iran. On the other hand, its strongest ally, America is trying to present itself to the world as a responsible nation trying to explore all options before it is compelled to take the unpopular military option. As for Tel Aviv, it is not a matter of why but when it will carry out military strikes to knock out Iranian nuclear installations.
Iranian nuclear instillations are widely dispersed so it will not be that easy to take them out. A successful operation would warrant multiple sorties spanned over a period of a week to 10 days. When the operation would last for such an extended period of time, there could be potential for a war to break out.
Reportedly, it is the Iranian nuclear site at Fordov in the holy city of Qom that pinches Israel the most. The facility, however, is inside a mountain sheltered by rock that is over 260 feet thick from all sides, and this makes the site impregnable to attack by conventional weapons. Israel’s fear is the movement and relocation by Iran of centrifuges from other locations to this site.
The presence in Islamabad this past week, of the presidents of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan should send a clear message to the US and to Israel that a regional alliance is a great shield against external aggression and threat. Furthermore, the people of America do not wish to see another war thrust on them.
Lt-col (retd) Muhammad Ali Ehsan
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2012.