Saturday, March 03, 2007

Israel wants to hit Iran

Israel has asked the United States for permission to fly over Iraq on the way to attacking Iran's nuclear facilities, a British newspaper has reported. The Jewish state plans to conduct surgical air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities, said the Daily Telegraph. The newspaper quoted a senior Israeli defence official as saying that negotiations are underway between the two countries for the US-led coalition in Iraq to provide an "air corridor" for Israeli planes. It would be used in the event of the Knesset deciding on unilateral military action to prevent Tehran developing nuclear weapons."We are planning for every eventuality and sorting out issues such as these are crucially important," said the defence official. He added that the only way to get to Iran would be to fly through US-controlled air space. "If we don't sort these issues out now we could have a situation where American and Israeli war planes start shooting at each other," the official is quoted as saying. Israeli high-ups are urging "crisper" and "faster" moves to sanction a strike on Iran since a UN report last week found that the Islamic Republic had expanded its programme to obtain nuclear weapons. But deputy defence minister Ephraim Sneh denied the reports, claiming that no such plan exists. He said the reports hailed from sources that wished to renounce responsibility for a lack of diplomatic action towards the Iranian nuclear threat. Iran has ignored the UN's deadline to halt uranium enrichment. UN officials will discuss arms controls and whether to cut back on the $25 billion-worth of export credits which are used by European companies to trade with Iran.