Israel estimates it would suffer around 500 deaths should it decide to strike Iran
File photo of soldiers at an undisclosed location in Israel. Israel is prepared for a 30-day war on multiple fronts should it decide to strike Iran, and is "ready as never before" for such a clash, according to the outgoing home front defence minister. © - AFP/MOD/File
Israel estimates it would suffer around 500 deaths should it decide to strike Iran
Speculation in the Israeli press about a possible strike against Iran has escalated
An Israeli anti-war protester holds a sign asking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to bomb Iran during a demonstration in Tel Aviv in March 2012. Israel is prepared for a 30-day war on multiple fronts should it decide to strike Iran, and is "ready as never before" for such a clash, according to the outgoing home front defence minister. © Ahmad Gharabli - AFP/File
Speculation in the Israeli press about a possible strike against Iran has escalated
Israel has refused to rule out military action against Iranian nuclear facilities
An Israeli F-15 warplane lands at the Hazerim Air Force Base in the Negev desert. Israel is prepared for a 30-day war on multiple fronts should it decide to strike Iran, and is "ready as never before" for such a clash, according to the outgoing home front defence minister. © Jack Guez - AFP/File
Israel has refused to rule out military action against Iranian nuclear facilities
<
>
AFP
Last updated: August 15, 2012

Israel ready for 30-day war after a strike on Iran, says outgoing minister

Israel is prepared for a 30-day war on multiple fronts should it decide to strike Iran, and is "ready as never before" for such a clash, the outgoing home front defence minister said Wednesday.

In an interview with the Maariv newspaper, Matan Vilnai said Israel was ready to face the consequences of a clash with Iran that could be sparked if the Jewish state decides to launch a strike against Tehran's nuclear programme.

But he warned that any military engagement should be weighed carefully, and cautioned that Israel should "always coordinate" with the United States.

"The assessments are for a war that will last 30 days on a number of fronts," he said, repeating the predictions of other senior Israeli officials that the Jewish state would suffer around 500 deaths in such a clash.

"It could be that there will be less fatalities, but it could be there will be more, that is the scenario that we are preparing for according to the best experts."

Speculation has risen in recent weeks about the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear programme, which the Jewish state and much of the international community believes masks a weapons drive.

Tehran vehemently denies those accusations, saying the programme is for peaceful energy and medical purposes.

As the speculation grows, observers in Israel have raised concern about the country's preparedness for war.

But Vilnai brushed aside such concerns, saying there was "no reason for hysteria."

"I can say in the most authoritative manner that the home front is ready as never before in the country's history," he said.

Vilnai declined to say whether he thought Israel should take military action against Iran, but warned any such decision required serious consideration.

"The only question is if a clash is necessary. War is something that is better to postpone and weigh carefully," he said, adding that he thought the Jewish state should coordinate its military activity with Washington.

"I don't want to be dragged into an argument, but I say that the United States is our greatest friend and we must always coordinate such things with it," he said.

Some Israeli officials have warned that the Jewish state could launch a unilateral attack on Iranian nuclear facilities if it believes Tehran is close to acquiring a nuclear weapon, even over objections from Washington.

Vilnai is set to be replaced by Avi Dichter, a former internal security minister and ex-head of the country's Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency.

The post, which Vilnai is leaving to become ambassador to China, was reportedly turned down by a slew of other top officials.

Israel is widely suspected to have the region's sole, if undeclared, nuclear arsenal.

© AFP 2012

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 8,259 linkedin icon LinkedIn 204
facebook icon Facebook 42,166 google+ icon Google+ 208