Israel, Iran on Collision Course with History?

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The number one question right now in the Mideast is -- will Israel attack Iran's nuclear facilities? Whatever Israel's decision, it will change the course of history.

The F-151 fighter jet is just one of the Israeli weapons that could be used to launch an attack on the Islamic Republic.

"There's also reports that Israel's ballistic missile capabilities of Israel's Dolphin class submarines, which currently has three Dolphin class submarines. There are two more on order and under construction in Germany,"  Yaakov Katz, who covers the military for The Jerusalem Post, told CBN News.

"According to reports, these submarines have the ability to fire cruise missiles," he added.

"Israel would definitely take into consideration all of its long-range capabilities to take out Iran's facilities, if it decides to take military action," Katz said.

High-Tech Weapons

A recent report also revealed "for much of the last decade…Israel has been assembling a multibillion dollar array of high-tech weapons…to jam, blind and deafen Tehran's defenses in the case of a pre-emptive aerial strike," Eli Lake, senior national security correspondent for Newsweek and the Daily Beast, wrote.

If Israel moves against Iran, there would be at least five main nuclear installations in its sights.

The first is the nuclear plant at Bushehr, followed by the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. Those targets are followed by the Isfahan conversion facility, the heavy-water plant at Arak, and the recently discovered Fordo plan near Qom.

Flight into Enemy Territory 

Then there's the question over the flight path Israeli planes would take to their targets. Some believe they could fly over Saudi Arabia, an enemy state.

Israel's Channel 10 reported new intelligence briefings indicate Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries are lobbying the Obama administration to strike Iran this year.

The reports say the Saudis fear Iran might target them even before Israel.

Israel prefers the U.S. would lead or assist with a military strike. But U.S. Defense Minister Leon Panetta visited Israeli leaders recently and warned them not to go it alone.

Reportedly, Israel refused to promise they'd warn the U.S. about any strike. But could they go it alone?

"My assessment -- and what I hear from the Israeli Defense Forces -- is that there is a level of confidence that they have the ability to go it alone against Iran and to neutralize some of the key facilities that Iran has built up over the years," Katz said.

"Maybe not obliterate the program, but definitely cause enough damage to set back the program one, two years, possibly even three," he added.

There is a clear pattern of Israel defending itself against potential nuclear attacks. In 1981, it destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor. In 2007, it was a Syrian nuclear facility.

Will Israel strike a third time? If so, time's running out.

"The move of the facilities from Natanz, centrifuges from Natanz to Qom should be very alarming for Israel and for the world because that would mean a further fortification of their uranium enrichment capabilities, something that's potentially immune to conventional military strike," Katz said.

"Maybe there's another way to attack it, but it would make it all the more difficult," he added. "That means time is closing. The window of opportunity is closing."

Whatever Israel's decision, it will change the Middle East, the world and change the course of history.

--Originally aired November 23, 2011.

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