US spells out plan to bomb Iran
Ian Bruce / the Herald | May 17 2006
THE US is updating contingency plans for a non-nuclear strike to cripple Iran's atomic weapon programme if international diplomacy fails, Pentagon sources have confirmed.
Strategists are understood to have presented two options for pinpoint strikes using B2 bombers flying directly from bases in Missouri, Guam in the Pacific and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
RAF Fairford in Gloucester also has facilities for B2s but this has been ruled out because of the UK's opposition to military action against Tehran.
The main plan calls for a rolling, five-day bombing campaign against 400 key targets in Iran, including 24 nuclear-related sites, 14 military airfields and radar installations, and Revolutionary Guard headquarters.
At least 75 targets in underground complexes would be attacked with waves of bunker-buster bombs.
Iranian radar networks and air defence bases would be struck by submarine-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles and then kept out of action by carrier aircraft flying from warships in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.
The alternative to an all-out campaign is a demonstration strike against one or two high-profile targets such as the Natanz uranium enrichment facility or the hexafluoride gas plant at Isfahan.
UK sources say contingency plans have also been drawn up to cope with the inevitable backlash against the Basra garrison in neighbouring Iraq.
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