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Israeli, US air forces simulate strikes on Iranian nuclear sites

The chief of IDF Military Intelligence has warned that Tehran will soon begin enriching at least a “symbolic” amount of uranium to military grade.

Israeli and American F-35 fighter jets during a joint training exercise. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
Israeli and American F-35 fighter jets during a joint training exercise. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

The Israeli and United States air forces launched a two-day drill on Tuesday simulating strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, according to an Israel Defense Forces statement.

The drills will be conducted over parts of Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, and include long-range flights such as those Israeli pilots would be required to undertake to reach Iran, located some 1,200 miles from the Jewish state.

“Fighter jets and refuelers from the IAF and the US Air Force will take part in the exercise and simulate a number of scenarios in the face of regional threats,” said the statement.

A London-based Saudi news site reported in August that Israel and America had simulated air strikes on Iran and the seizure of Iranian warships in the Persian Gulf. It also said Israel had flown aircraft in Iranian airspace in the preceding months.

Iran recently began enriching uranium to 60% at its underground Fordow nuclear site and, as of Oct. 22, had amassed 137 pounds of the substance, more than enough to produce a bomb if enriched to 90%, or weapons-grade.

Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva said last week that Iran would soon start enriching at least a “symbolic” amount of uranium to 90%, although he added that it was unlikely to make a dash for the bomb.

Haliva warned that Tehran had made “significant progress” on its nuclear program, and that the international community would soon face its “greatest test” in preventing the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

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