Sunday, November 04, 2012

Is Iran Next After Sudan?

By Abu Anas

Several powerful explosions hit the Sudanese capital in Khartoum last Tuesday night at the Yarmouk arms factory, killing two people. Initially, the Sudanese government denied any external air strike on its capital, but later retracted and accused Israel for being behind this attack. Sudanese Information Minister, Ahmed Belal Osman, told Reuters that “an analysis of rocket debris and other material on the ground had shown that Israel was behind the attack.”[1] He said that “four ‘radar-evading’ aircraft were involved in the attack.”[2] Several eyewitness accounts reported that an aircraft or a missile flew over the factory prior to the explosion, including an AFP journalist.[3] The Israeli government declined to comment on this accusation.

Yesterday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that Sudanese opposition sources claimed that the arms factory bombed a day earlier “belongs to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.”[4] If the case is that Israel was actually the perpetrator, since it is also the only country that has the capability to launch such an attack in the region, then there are serious implications to this event! Ehud Yaari, a Middle East expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy pointed that "this is [the] longest strike -- the farthest strike -- ever executed by the Israeli air force! We are talking about something that is 1,800 or 1,900 kilometers [from Israel], depending on the route. That's farther away than the range from Israel to the main Iranian nuclear installations in Natanz and Qom."[5]

Israel does not have the capability to fully destroy the Iranian nuclear program, especially facilities that are underground, due to its inability to deliver needed bunker-busting munition. The Obama administration has firmly rejected such an adventure by the Israelis, even though some recent reports have stated that this might be changing.[6] Israel needs to force the US to come along and that is why this time is crucial. The presidential elections are two weeks away and Obama is tied for votes with his contender, and the Israelis know that if they will take on such a gamble, it must be now so they project maximum pressure upon the US administration. Through this strike on Sudan, Israel have proved to the world that it can fly the same distance to Iran and back without any radar system detecting it; a signal, perhaps, to the US that they might still do it on their own!



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