Israel Could Attack Iran’s Nuclear Programme Tomorrow If Needed, Says Air Force Future Head
"I have to assume it will happen in my life, and my shoulders are already getting ready for the burden of the responsibility. There is no way that we will operate there, 1,000kilometers from here, and I will return home without being able to say 'I completed the mission'", he told the newspaper.
The commander also touched on last week’s report from The New York Times, which said that the United States had rejected Israel’s request to speed up supplies of Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus refuelling aircraft. The jets were to be delivered under the $2.4 billion deal the United States and Israel signed last year. According to the newspaper, Israel considers the aircraft is "critical to striking Iran’s nuclear facilities". KC-46’s characteristics allow the plane to refuel three jets at once in four minutes.
Bar said that he doesn’t know why the White House rejected Israel’s request, but stressed that he has not "yet exhausted the possibility of getting at least two [jets] in advance".
His interview comes a week after media reports said that Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had allegedly stated that Israel is preparing for a military option to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Israel and Iran have had a tense relationship since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Tehran. At the time, the supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini adopted a sharp anti-Israeli stance and cut off all ties with its neighbour. Over the years, both sides have engaged in tit-for-tat incursions, but have avoided a direct military conflict.
Relations between the two sides have further deteriorated because of Iran's nuclear programme, which Israel considers poses a threat to its existence. In 2015, Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. Under the agreement, the Islamic Republic curbed its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions and an arms embargo.
Israel has voiced opposition to attempts to restore the deal. Iran has insisted that its nuclear programme is intended only for peaceful purposes, citing the 2009 ruling of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who condemned the use and development of weapons of mass destruction describing them as a violation of Islam’s moral structures.