The plan, which is expected to take the better part of a year, was recently approved by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
As talks aimed at returning Iran to the 2015 nuclear agreement remain stalled and Tehran continues its unprecedented uranium enrichment, the Israeli Air Force has embarked on a highly specialized training program in preparation for a strike on the Islamic Republic.
The plan, which is expected to take the better part of a year, was recently presented to and approved by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Israel Hayom reported.
Because preparation for the mission will take months at a minimum, Israeli security officials are hoping that Iran’s nuclear development program will be curbed by international pressure or sanctions in the near future.
While Israel regularly carries out airstrikes on Iranian intelligence gathering and operational assets in Syria, a mission to Iran poses a number of challenges.
Iran’s air defense systems are significantly more advanced than those in Syria, and a strike would likely be met with serious retaliation.
“The Middle East is a complex arena that changes at any given time,” IAF chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin to Israel Hayom.
“The challenges we face are only growing and therefore we need to be one step ahead of the enemy. The IAF trains routinely to be ready for a broad array of emergency scenarios.“
Brig. Gen. Amir Lazar, head of the IAF’s Training and Doctrine Division, told Israel Hayom that the military is well-prepared for a potential strike on Iran, but was working to improve specific operational procedures for such a mission.
“We are changing the [base] point and are more focused [on] looking eastward,“ he said.
“From the ability to refuel [in the air] to the ability to work in isolation and in conditions of uncertainty – these are the things we practice every day. Hence we’re not talking about starting from zero, rather a shift to improve certain capabilities.“