Drills cover potential Iranian retaliation for bombing its nuclear facilities
For the first time, the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) major “Chariots of Fire” exercises will include training exercises for a “large-scale strike in Iran,The Times of Israel reported Tuesday, citing sources.
Exercises over the Mediterranean Sea will begin May 29 during the fourth and final week of the month-long exercises.
“In light of growing uncertainty over an Iranian return to the 2015 nuclear deal, amid long stalled negotiations with the United States, the Israel Defense Forces have stepped up their efforts during the past year to prepare a credible military threat against Tehran’s nuclear facilities,“, said the newspaper.
According to the newspaper, a possible strike by Israel on Iran poses several challenges for the IAF: it must find ways to bomb Iranian nuclear installations located deep underground, to somehow circumvent them. “.increasingly sophisticated“Iranian air defenses, and to prepare for retaliation from Iran and its allies.
“The upcoming exercise should also focus on preparing for and responding to such reprisals,“, says the report.
Almost all units of the Israel Defense Forces take part in the “Chariots of Fire” exercises. As Israel’s Channel 13 reported on Tuesday, during the mock attack on Iran, US tankers will practice aerial refueling of Israeli fighter jets.
Earlier in the day, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Iran “is only a few weeks away from accumulating sufficient fissile material for a first bomb.” He pointed out that Iran continues to “accumulate irreversible knowledge and experience” in all aspects related to advanced centrifuges, and that the price of “address the Iranian challenge globally or regionally” is constantly growing.
Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi previously warned Israel that his country’s military would strike “the center of the Zionist regime” if Tel Aviv did “the slightest movementagainst Iran.
Meanwhile, talks to reinstate the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal, have stalled. Signed by Iran and the US, UK, Russia, France, Germany, China and the EU, the deal offered sanctions relief on Iran in return for discontinuation of its nuclear program. Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018, saying Iran was violating its obligations.
After a year of negotiations in Vienna, an agreement appeared very close in February. However, Iran demanded guarantees from Washington that no future US president would withdraw from a new deal, and demanded that the United States remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its roster. terrorist organizations. The United States did not respond to these requests.
“If the United States responds to some of the solutions that have been proposed, we may be in the position that all parties return to Vienna,Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Monday.