There have been some interesting developments in Israel’s security sector which gives rise to opinions that Israel is preparing for action against Iran.
The evident reason for Israel’s preparations is the US’s headlong rush to a nuclear deal with Iran, irrespective of the program’s dimensions. First we hear the bumbling fool John Kerry freely admit:
Iran was likely about two months away from being able to produce enough material for one nuclear bomb, though would not necessarily have the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon.
Iran and the six world powers embarked Tuesday, April 8, on two days of negotiations in Vienna for a final and comprehensive nuclear accord, with both the US and Iran resolved start drafting the document for resolving the long-running dispute in mid-May. debkafile reports that in its haste for progress, the Obama administration has set aside consideration of the Iranian nuclear program’s military dimensions. As a senior Israeli security official put it: “The Americans are ready to take Tehran’s assurance that its program is purely peaceful at face value.”
Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday, April 7 in a brief comment that what concerns Israel is that the negotiations have not so far addressed Iran’s nuclear weapons program or delivery systems – a reference its nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
His comment also paled compared with the sharp exchanges between Israel’s defense chiefs and Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs, during his three-day visit last week. Those exchanges brought to the surface the profound US-Israeli differences on the state of Iran’s nuclear program and the scope of its threat. When he visited Riyadh on March 28, President Barack Obama tried to reassure Saudi King Abdullah that “the United States would not accept a bad nuclear deal with Iran.”
Gen. Dempsey too sought to allay Israel’s fears about the final nuclear accord under discussion between the six world powers and Iran.
Neither Riyadh nor Jerusalem was convinced. They agreed to couch their rift with Washington diplomatically as “tactical differences.” But the Saudis and Israelis also agreed to continue working together on the Iranian nuclear question.
No sooner had Obama departed Riyadh and Dempsey Jerusalem, than a US spokesman issued an upbeat statement that no second interim nuclear accord would be necessary after the one signed last November, and there was no bar to getting down to drafting the final accord document and have it ready for signing by July 20.
This optimism seemed to have no visible rationale, but the Iranians saw their chance of a fast deal for major sanctions relief.
American delusional optimism saw no problem even with Russia’s malign influence over the proceedings:
Washington also brushed aside the warning heard form Russia’s senior negotiator Sergey Ryabkov that Moscow might “take the path of counter-measures” on Iran if pushed too far on Ukraine. On arrival in Vienna, he said stiffly that Russia not involved in the Iran talks “to please the Americans or Iranians” but because it “meets the national interest” to find a solution. But, he added, Russia has no special expectations from this round of talks.
The standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine cast a heavy cloud over the Vienna meeting. But Washington refused to be put off its diplomatic stroke by this impasse, or even the mammoth $50 billion barter deal Moscow and Iran are near closing for Iran to sell Russian 550,000 barrels of oil per day in lieu of various Russian goods, including foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals.
Against this very worrying background of America’s going for appearance over substance, ignoring the harsh realities of the Middle East, it is reassuring to know that Israel has just launched a new spy satellite, the Ofek 10:
The Defense Ministry and Israeli Aircraft Industries launched a spy satellite into orbit from Palmahim Air Base on Wednesday night.
The satellite, called Ofek 10, uses radar systems for observation.
It was carried into space by a Shavit (“Comet”) launch vehicle.
It soon entered orbit, and is scheduled to undergo a series of checks to ensure that key functions are working correctly.
The SAR (Synthetic aperture radar) satellite has advanced day and night photography capabilities, and will work in all weather conditions, the Defense Ministry said.
The launch was jointly carried out by IAI and the Defense Ministry’s Space Administration, which is a part of the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.
Debkafile asserts that the timing of the satellite launch was no coincidence – it was in response to the Americans’ refusal to deal with Iran’s acceleration of its nuclear program.
The C-130J Super Hercules enhances the IAF’s long-range capabilities which include airborne supply, transportation of troops and cargo, aerial refueling for helicopters and planes, electronic warfare, maritime patrol and special operations.
Over the past year, squadron members have trained in Italy and in the United States in order to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the aircraft and its capabilities.
This is the first ‘Samson’ C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to join the newly established ‘Samson’ squadron. More are scheduled to arrive in July 2014 and over the course of 2015.
The Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, spoke at the ceremony: “Today we mark a new peak in the IDF’s capabilities. Over its 50 years of service, Hercules planes took part in military aid missions, civilian, and humanitarian operations. The “Samson” aircraft joining the IAF today is an innovative and revolutionary addition to our forces. This type of aircraft gives the IDF extended operational flexibility and strengthens our long range capabilities, making us more accurate and powerful than ever. The progressive systems the “Samson” aircraft is equipped with will allow us to execute more complex operations than in the past- we will be able to operate faster, in all weather conditions, in greater distance, in lower altitude and in maximum discretion.”
Here are more interesting details about this aircraft:
The IAF purchased the long version of the Hercules C-130J from Lockheed- Martin which allows for an improved carrying capacity: instead of 64 paratroopers the short version can carry, the Hercules C-130J can accommodate in its cargo hold 94 paratroopers and their equipment. Alternatively, the cargo hold can accommodate four military SUVs instead of three, or transport 128 soldiers.
Now that the “Samson” has arrived in Israel, many more computer systems designed by Israel will be added to the plane. These Israeli systems will assist the “Samson” in its jobs of transportation of troops, rescue, and efficient and safe supply.
The mid-air refueling ability of IAF aircraft will be easier than ever before with the coming of the “Samson.” “The ‘Samson’ has the ability to fly closer to other aircraft in order to supply gasoline, making much easier this delicate operation,” said Colonel A.
With its great holding capacity and technological innovation, this new giant of the skies will bring a major strategic advantage, which will strengthen the IDF’s ability to carry out its mission of protecting Israel’s borders and citizens.
It is slightly ironic to note that the aircraft was purchased from the United States. Therefore an American product will be assisting Israel in combatting the very country, Iran, which the United States themselves are so reluctant to confront.