Report: Israel, U.S. consider surgical strike on Iran

Israel and the United States are considering a joint “surgical strike” targeting Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, according to a source close to the Obama administration.

David Rothkopf, an international relations expert writing in Foreign Policy, cited the source, a former Clinton administration official close to the discussions between Israel and the Obama administration, as saying the strike would take a couple of hours in the best case and a day or two overall.

The source said the strike would be conducted by air, primarily using bombers and drone support.

Rothkopf’s article said there is not “exact agreement on what constitutes a ‘red line,’ [but] the military option being advocated by the Israelis is considerably more limited and lower risk than some of those that have been publicly debated.”

The surgical strike option could not be conducted by the Israelis alone, Rothkopf wrote. To reach Iran’s underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordow, the attack would require bunker-busting bombs that Israeli planes are not equipped to carry.

“The mission, therefore, must involve the United States, whether acting alone or in concert with the Israelis and others,” Rothkopf wrote. — jta