Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, tells Newsmax that a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be “very, very difficult.”
He also said other nations in the Middle East are “very afraid” of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Newsmax’s Ashley Martella noted that the International Institute for Strategic Studies predicts Iran will have enough enriched uranium this year to make a single weapon, and asked what kind of threat Iran poses.
“There is so much that we do not know about Iran, whether it’s through this organization [the IISS] or whether it’s the United States government through our intelligence community,” Rep. Hoekstra responded.
“What do we know? We know they are committed to developing a nuclear weapon. We do know they are intent on developing the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon. Their missile technology continues to grow and evolve, we believe in cooperation with North Korea.
“The third thing we know is that they pose a threat to the stability in the Middle East, that there are countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel and others throughout the Middle East that are very afraid of what Iran may do.
“The biggest thing about Iran is what we don’t know, and the uncertainty associated with not knowing their plans and intentions.”
Martella asked if an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would likely involve the U.S.
“It might, because if Israel decides to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities it would have to be a broad-based attack and a pretty extensive attack,” Hoekstra said.
“What we have learned, or what the Iranians have learned from previous strikes or previous activities, is that what they need to do is separate out their nuclear facilities so they don’t have them all in one place. You can’t hit a particular location and say we have dealt a death blow to the Iranian nuclear program, so they’ve dispersed their facilities.
“In certain cases we believe they’ve [placed their facilities] underground, meaning that it needs to be a pretty significant attack.
“And in other cases they may have moved them near civilian targets — schools, hospitals, other civilian institutions - so it would have to be a very precise attack.
“This is not like going into Syria as the Israelis did a few months ago, where you take out what we think was a nuclear reactor at a remote site and in one blow you take out the whole site.
“In Iran you’d have to make multiple attacks against very difficult targets, with very precision bombing. That’s very very difficult.”
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