Israeli Nuclear Subs ‘to set sail for Iran’
May 31, 2010 1 Comment
Amid speculations about Israel’s hostile future policies against Iran, a report says Israel is to deploy three submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf.
Three German-made submarines belonging to Israel’s Flotilla 7 will be sent near the Iranian coastline, The Sunday Times reported. The nuclear-armed vessels named Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan have previously been sent to the region but according to the British daily’s report, the Israeli Navy has fresh plans to keep at least one of the submarines in the region on a permanent basis.
The report comes as an unnamed flotilla commander confirmed a ‘very far’ mission in an interview with an Israeli daily.
“We are an underwater assault force. We’re operating deep and far, very far, from our borders,” said the official who has only been identified as “Colonel O.”
The submarines, with a capacity of up to 50 crews, are able to launch a nuclear cruise missile. Some of the cruise missiles are equipped with the most advanced nuclear warheads from the Israeli arsenal, the report added. The Sunday Times quoted a flotilla officer as saying that the vessels were sent to carry out intelligence gathering missions and potentially land Mossad agents in the region. Talking about the prospect of a possible military attack against Iran, a navy officer said, “The 1,500 km range of the submarines’ cruise missiles can reach any target in Iran.”
The revelation came after earlier this week, Iranian naval forces detected a US nuclear-armed submarine in the Strait of Hormuz. Tel Aviv, which is under international pressure to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has repeatedly accused Tehran of pursuing a military nuclear program.
Meanwhile, Iran — which is a signatory to the NPT — says it does not pursue military objectives through its nuclear program, arguing further that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have never found any evidence of diversion in the Iranian nuclear program.