Israel wouldn’t be capable of waging a sustained military attack against Iran, former CIA Director Michael Hayden told an Israeli newspaper, saying taking on Tehran is something only the United States can do.
“I do not underestimate the Israeli talent, but geometry and physics tell us that Iran's nuclear program would pose a difficult challenge to any military," Hayden told newspaper in an interview published Tuesday.
"Israel's resources are more limited than those of the U.S..” he said.
U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Israel to hold off on launching a military strike aimed at delaying Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Hayden said any Israeli military attack wouldn’t hold Iran back for long.
“[A strike] will only set the Iranians back some time and actually push them to do that which it is supposed to prevent, getting nuclear weapons," he warned.
He added that it would be impossible to wipe out all of Iran’s nuclear sites with a single bombing raid. Instead, a sustained campaign would be needed.
“They will have to be revisited, which only the U.S. Air Force would be able to do,” said Hayden, who headed the CIA from May 20006 to February 2009.
Hayden also told Haaretz he does not believe Iran will be capable of starting work on a nuclear weapon until “2013 or 2014,” meaning there was no need for an immediate decision on military action by either Israel or the U.S.
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