(IranMania) - A British newspaper reported that Israel has drafted plans to strike as many as three targets in Iran with low-yield nuclear weapons, aiming to halt Tehran's uranium enrichment program.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry denied the report, according to The Associated Press.
Citing multiple unidentified Israeli military sources, The Sunday Times said the proposals involved using so-called "bunker-buster" nuclear weapons to attack nuclear facilities at three sites south of the Iranian capital, reports Trend.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said it would not respond to the claim. "We don't respond to publications in the Sunday Times," said Miri Eisin, Olmert's spokeswoman.
Israeli Minister of Strategic Threats Avigdor Lieberman also declined to comment on the report.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev denied the report and said that "the focus of the Israeli activity today is to give full support to diplomatic actions" and the implementation of a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt enrichment.
The United States and its allies accuse Tehran of secretly trying to produce atomic weapons, but Iran claims its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, including generating electricity.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has condemned the U.N. resolution as invalid and illegal.
Though Olmert has not explicitly ruled out a military strike against Iran's nuclear program, he has repeatedly said the issue should be dealt with diplomatically.
Because an Iranian nuclear bomb would affect the entire world, Olmert has said, the problem must be solved by the international community.
The Sunday Times reported that Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, believes Iran could produce enough enriched uranium to build nuclear weapons within two years. It also reported the top three targets for the Israelis were Natanz, where thousands of centrifuges are being installed, a heavy water reactor at Arak and a uranium conversion facility near Isfahan.
Israeli pilots, the newspaper reported, have made flights to the British colony of Gibraltar to train for the 2,000-mile round trip to the Iranian targets.
The Israeli army declined to comment when asked by The Associated Press on Sunday whether the Israeli air force was training for an attack against Iranian nuclear facilities.
"I refuse to believe that anyone here would consider using nuclear weapons against Iran," Reuven Pedatzur, a prominent defense analyst and columnist for the daily Haaretz, told the AP. "It is possible that this was a leak done on purpose, as deterrence, to say 'someone better hold us back, before we do something crazy."'
Ephraim Kam, a strategic expert at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Strategic Studies and a former senior army intelligence officer, also dismissed the report.
"No reliable source would ever speak about this, certainly not to the Sunday Times," Kam said.
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