Tel Aviv: Urgent discussions between the US and Israel are underway as Iran is on the threshold of making nuclear weapons. On March 3, Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant met with US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. The meeting was attended by IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt Gen Herzi Halevi and IDF Attache to Washington, Maj Gen Hidai Zilberman.
Minister Gallant highlighted the importance of international cooperation in preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. Minister Gallant expressed his appreciation to General Milley for his partnership and commitment to the security of the State of Israel.
Israeli defence sources told Raksha Anirveda that in focus were two major issues – the fact that Iran is weeks away from the capability to make a nuclear weapons and that Russia may help Iran in its long range ballistic and cruise missiles program.
Milley also met David Barnea , the head of the Israeli Mossad and heard updated intel about Iran’s activities. Next week US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin is expected to arrive in Israel.
Israeli sources said that there is great concern in Jerusalem about the willingness of Washington to actively help Israel if it decides to initiate a military operation against the Iranian nuclear program that a few days ago reached enriched uranium to a 84 % grade.
In recent joint exercises between the US and Israel Israeli air force fighter aircraft were air refuelled by US air force tankers. Israel has ordered 4 Boeing KC-46 A with option to another 4 but deliveries will begin not before 2026. The Israeli defence establishment is trying to understand whether the US will be ready to supply the aerial refuelling services to the Israeli air force if and when an attack against Iran is performed.
Another major concern is the possible help that Russia may extend Iran in its efforts to achieve massive ballistic and cruise missiles capability. This after last week the Iranian revealed that they have developed a new cruise missile with a range of 1650 KM.
Israeli sources said that the information achieved by Israel about that cooperation has been shared with the US in recent weeks together with Intel showing that Iran may transfer to Syria some of its air defence systems on the request of Moscow that needs all its air defence arsenal for the war in Ukraine.
Last Sunday, CIA director William Burns told CBS News that Russia is proposing to help Iran in its missile program. “What we also see are signs that…Russia is proposing to help the Iranians on their missile program and also at least considering the possibility of providing fighter aircraft to Iran as well,” he said.
Dany Yatom, former head of the Mossad told Raksha Anirveda that the Russia – Iran military cooperation should worry Israel very much.
“The Iranians have very impressive technological capabilities and now Russia is expected to add to the existing ones. Israel should assume that technological knowledge is not only going from Iran to Russia in the shape of armed drones but at the other direction also , and this will increase the Iranian capability to hit targets in Israel,” he added.
As reported by Raksha Anirveda, the missile weight is 30 % of a Tomahawk and probably has no homing sensor and is directed to the selected target by a GPS systems. It is assumed that the missile will be equipped in the future with some kind of a homing sensor.
In recent years based on intelligence about the Iranian effort to develop a long range cruise missiles, Israel has added tethered balloons carrying very advanced long range radar to its other early warning systems. The new cruise missile has folding winglets that are opened after the missile leaves the canister and that according to Israeli defence sources enables its launch from platforms like cargo ships.
Other steps that have been taken are highly classified and according to sources are being upgraded as the Iranian cruise missile threat is enhanced.
Israeli sources said that the defence cooperation between Iran and Russia can in some aspects help the Iranian long range ballistic missile program that is conducted in parallel to Tehran’s nuclear one that recently reached 84 % reached Uranium. The Israeli sources further added that the defence cooperation between Moscow and Tehran can also help the Iranian military nuclear program.