Is Israel Poised To Attack Iran?

Israeli warplanes have conducted what U.S. intelligence analysts say was a dress rehearsal for a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities - ominous action backed up by ominous words from Israel's ambassador to the U.S.

"We cannot take this threat lightly and as our prime minister recently said Israel will not tolerate a nuclear Iran," Sallai Meridor told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

The exercise took place on June 2 over the eastern Mediterranean. According to CBS consultant Michael Oren, nearly 100 aircraft flew the 900-mile ranges needed to hit targets in Iran.

"Israeli planes, to reach Iran, would have to refuel at least three times going there and back and they were training that," Oren said.

There's no mystery about the message that sends, says former Air Force Secretary James Roche.

"The Iranians, many hope, will understand that when you get into this business you get on a lot of people's target lists," Roche said.

Just last year Israeli jets knocked out a nuclear reactor in Syria and in 1981 destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor. But a pilot who flew that mission told Bob Simon on 60 Minutes that Iran's nuclear program is a much tougher target.

"We had one point to destroy," Col. Zeev Raz said. "They have many points, many of them deep under the mountains, under the ground, and it's a much more complicated problem than in 81."

It's made even more complicated by anti-aircraft missiles which Iran is buying from Russia and could have in operation by the end of this year.

"You say the window for diplomatic action is closing. How much time is there?" Martin asked Meridor.

"Less today than we had yesterday, and it's, it's running out," Meridor said.

For many countries, choosing between bombing Iran and Iran with a bomb is a tough call. But there is no doubt what choice Israel would make.


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