According to a report from Israel’s Channel 12, the Israeli government approved a $1.5 billion budget to prepare for a potential attack on Iran.
The extra funds would be used to purchase additional aircraft, surveillance drones, and the munitions needed to strike Iran’s underground nuclear facilities. The report said about $620 million would come from the 2022 military budget, and the rest of the funds would come from this year’s budget.
For years, Israel has been seeking bunker-busting bombs that could penetrate Iran’s underground facilities. If they did acquire the munitions, Israel would also need bombers capable of carrying them, something it currently doesn’t have. The US tested a new 5,000-pound bunker buster earlier this month, which Israeli media interpreted as a possible message to Iran.
In July, it was reported that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) requested additional funds for next year’s budget to prepare for operations against Iran. Throughout the year, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi has repeatedly said the IDF is “accelerating” plans to strike Iran, and Israeli politicians have constantly been threatening the Islamic Republic.
Israel frequently carries out covert attacks against Iran’s civilian nuclear program, but the IDF planning suggests an overt operation could happen in the future. The US has joined Israel in issuing threats against Iran. Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken hinted at military action against Iran alongside Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. Blinken said if diplomacy with Iran fails, the US will turn to “other options.”
Lapid made clear that one of Blinken’s “options” was military action. “I would like to start by repeating what the Secretary of State just said. Yes, other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails. And by saying other options, I think everybody understands here … what is it that we mean,” Lapid said.