This exercise covers Iranian possible retaliation against the attack on its nuclear facilities
For the first time, the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) major ‘Chariots of Fire’ exercises will include practice drills for a “Wide-scale strikes in Iran” the Times of Israel reported on Tuesday, citing sources.
The fourth week will end on May 29th, and the drills above the Mediterranean Sea will start.
“In light of growing uncertainty regarding a return by Iran to the 2015 nuclear deal, amid long-stalled negotiations with the United States, the Israel Defense Forces in the past year has ramped up its efforts to prepare a credible military threat against Tehran’s nuclear facilities,” the newspaper said.
According to the newspaper, a potential strike by Israel on Iran poses several challenges for the IAF: It has to find ways to shell the Iranian nuclear facilities that are located deep underground, to somehow bypass “More sophisticated” Iranian air defenses, and to prepare for retaliation by Iran and its allies.
“It is expected that the drill will also focus on responding to and preparing for such retaliation.” the report said.
Almost all of the units of the Israel Defense Forces take part in the ‘Chariots of Fire’ exercises. According to Israeli Channel 13, US tanks will be practicing midair fuelling of Israeli fighter planes during the Iran attack simulation.
Earlier that day, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Iran “Just a few short weeks remain before we start accumulating enough fissile material to make a bomb..” He stressed that Iran continues to “accumulate irreversible knowledge and experience” in all aspects related to the advanced centrifuges, and that the price for “At a local or international level, the Iranian issue must be tackled” is constantly growing.
Iran claims that nuclear weapons are only for peaceful purposes.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi had previously warned Israel that his country’s military would strike “the center of the Zionist regime” if Tel Aviv made “The smallest movements” against Iran.
Talks to restore the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuke deal, are still in limbo. The deal was signed by Iran, the US, UK and Russia as well as France, Germany and China. It offered Iran sanctions relief in return for an end to Iran’s nuclear program. Trump was the ex-US President and unilaterally withdrew his support for the deal, alleging that Iran was violating its obligations.
In February, after a year-long negotiation in Vienna, an agreement appeared to be close. However, Iran demanded guarantees from Washington that any future US president would not withdraw from a new agreement, and asked the US to remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps from its list of terrorist organizations. These requests were not met by the US.
“If the US provides a response to some solutions, it will be possible for all parties to return to Vienna.” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday.