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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Multiple air strikes on multiple targets required to destroy Iran sites
Multiple air strikes on multiple targets required to destroy Iran sites PDF Print E-mail
Written by Geostrategy-Direct.Com   
Saturday, 16 August 2008

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Major Iran exercise said to test wartime rapid response, security

Multiple air strikes on multiple targets required to destroy Iran sites

WASHINGTON — A new report found that the destruction of Iran's nuclear program would require a sustained air combat campaign by the United States.

The Institute for Science and International Security has determined that Iran's nuclear program has been dispersed, protected and concealed. The Washington-based institute said this would rule out a limited air strike on Iran's uranium enrichment facilities.

"An attack on Iran's enrichment program could not just rely on a single strike," the report, titled "Can Military Strikes Destroy Iran's Gas Centrifuge Program? Probably Not," said. "It would need multiple strikes against many sites."

Authored by David Albright, Paul Brannan and Jacqueline Shire, the report contrasted Iran's nuclear program with that of Iraq and Syria. ISIS said Teheran's uranium enrichment program was based on gas centrifuges, which could be dispersed throughout Iran. Iraq and Syria had sought to develop nuclear weapons based on reactors.

"Following an attack, Iran could quickly rebuild its centrifuge program in small, easily hidden facilities focused on making weapon-grade uranium for nuclear weapons," the report, dated Aug. 7, said.

The two leading Iranian nuclear facilities were identified as Isfahan and Natanz. ISIS said the destruction of these two facilities would require "far more military ordinance than that used" to bomb Iraq's Osirak reactor or Syria's Al Kibar. Israel destroyed Osirak in 1981 and Al Kibar in 2007.

"Because gas centrifuge plants can have few tell-tale signatures, they can be very difficult to detect," the report said. "Given sufficient suspicion of an impending military strike, Iran could quickly remove key centrifuge components, equipment and materials from its existing sites. It may have already done so with certain items as part of a strategy to protect its centrifuge program."

ISIS said Western intelligence remains uncertain of the precise locations and vulnerabilities of Iranian nuclear facilities. Isfahan was said to contain more than 300 tons of uranium hexafluoride, or UF6, a feeder gas that could facilitate the production of more than 30 nuclear weapons.

Moreover, Albright, a former United Nations weapons inspector, said the International Atomic Energy Agency has failed to locate Iranian facilities that produce centrifuge components. He suggested that the U.S. intelligence community has not been significantly helped by information provided by Israel.

"Based on interviews with knowledgeable government officials, intelligence agencies simply lack reliable information on the full-scope of Iran's centrifuge facilities and activities," the report said.

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Major Iran exercise said to test wartime rapid response, security

LONDON — A major Iran exercise said to demonstrate military power was actually designed to gauge internal security, analysts said.
 
Western intelligence sources said the Great Prophet-3 exercise, from July 11 through 14, focused on the internal security capabilities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The sources said Great Prophet-3 tested a command and control network meant to facilitate rapid response to a rebellion in Iran during any war with the United States.

"The entire missile firing phase of the exercise was designed to demonstrate deterrence," an intelligence source said. "But the real goal of the exercise was to maintain security in times of war."

The exercise envisioned Western air strikes on Iranian cities amid a war with the United States. The sources said IRGC wanted to determine whether the C2 network could survive such a major assault.

"There were bugs in the network, but it worked," the source said. "They demonstrated that they could suppress unrest as well as provide civil defense."

The sources said IRGC has completed the deployment of its Basij paramilitary force throughout most of Iran. They said Basij, designed to mobilize up to 12 million personnel, has established an internal security presence in 31 provinces.

Another goal of Great Prophet was to determine whether IRGC could rapidly load and fire a range of missiles. The sources said many of the missiles were aging weapons drawn from underground bunkers in remote areas of Iran.

On July 21, Iran launched another IRGC exercise meant to test the interoperability of internal security and military forces. The month-long exercise, meant to test the restructured IRGC, was taking place in the Ardabil province and was commanded by Col. Jalil Babazadeh. The sources said nearly 100 IRGC and Basij battalions were participating.

http://www.geostrategy-direct.com/geostrategy-direct/secure/2008/08_20/me.asp

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Iran's intermediate-range missile can hit cities, but not military targets

LONDON — Leading Western analysts said Iran has failed to significantly enhance the intermediate-range Shihab-3 missile despite years of trying. The analysts said the missile could not strike military installations or critical facilities.

"It would obviously cause a certain amount of severe damage around the point where the warhead lands," Doug Richardson, editor of Jane's Missiles and Rockets magazine, said. "But the problem is that the accuracy is not high."

[On Aug. 5, the Israel Air Force asserted that it was capable of intercepting the Shihab-3 and other missiles deployed in the Middle East. Air Defense Command chief Brig. Gen. Daniel Milo said Iran has failed to achieve any significant technological breakthrough with the Shihab-3.]

In an interview with the RFE/RL network, Richardson said the Shihab-3 was believed to have a circle error of probability, or CEP, of 2.5 kilometers. This meant that half of the missiles in any Shihab-3 salvo would land outside the CEP.

"In the case of the Shihab, we think it's [CEP] about 2,500 meters," Richardson said. "So this is basically a weapon you would aim at a city rather than a specific point target. It just hasn't got the accuracy, as far as we know, to do point targets."

The Western analysts said Iran has sought to deceive Israel and the United States with false claims of Shihab-3 development. They said Iran, despite announcements to the contrary, has never fired a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers.

Richardson said the legacy Shihab-3, first fired in 1998, contains a range of 1,300 kilometers. The more advanced Shihab-3A was said to have a range of up to 1,800 kilometers.

Iran has also reported a missile dubbed Shihab-3B, said capable of reaching targets from a distance of 2,500 kilometers. Some analysts assert that Iran has produced up to 100 Shihab-3s.

Richardson said Iran's only option was to use the Shihab-3 against civilian population centers. He said the missile would have marginal effectiveness in any war with the United States in the Gulf.

"A missile like that, you're not going to use it against a moving target like a fleet," Richardson said. "If the fleet had a base, a dockyard within missile range, you could certainly fire at that. But in terms of Tel Aviv, I think you best you could say is that you might hope to hit central Tel Aviv. It would not be practical to say: 'We're going to hit the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv.' They don't have that kind of accuracy."
 
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The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of CRNews.



 
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