IDF Iran Strike Budget Renewed for 2014

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israeli military will continue its preparations for a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon have ordered the IDF to go ahead with the strike option, at a cost of roughly $3 billion, the same as in 2013.

The decision to carry on with the contingency program was disclosed at Knesset joint committee hearings on IDF planning held in January and February

Some MKs at the hearings questioned the wisdom of such heavy allocations for an eventuality which seems less likely now that Iran and the West are reaching accomodations.

Army deputy chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, and planning directorate official Brig. Gen. Agai Yehezkel told them that they had received a clear directive from the political echelon — meaning Netanyahu and Yaalon — to continue readying for a possible strike by Israel on the Iranian nuclear sites.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit declined to respond to questions by Haaretz on the matter, as did the Prime Minister’s Office.

In a recent speech at Tel Aviv University Yaalon indicated that his view has shifted and he is now likely to support an independent strike on Iran, since he has concluded that the Obama administration cannot be relied on to act.

“We think that the United States should be the one leading the campaign against Iran,” Ya’alon said this week. “But the U.S. has entered talks with them and unfortunately, in the haggling in the Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better. … Therefore, on this matter, we have to behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves.”