In a May 10 address to the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic
Studies, Ya'alon, a former military chief of staff, said the Air Force was
prepared for any war with Iran. He said Israel has also enhanced air strike
capability against neighboring Syria, the leading ally of Iran in the Middle
"This capability can be used for a war on terror in Gaza, for a war in
the face of rockets from Lebanon, for war on the conventional Syrian army,
and also for war on a peripheral state like Iran," Ya'alon said.
Ya'alon, responsible for strategic affairs in the Cabinet of Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, did not identify the Israeli air refueling
systems. But he said the Air Force has acquired an enhanced capability to
conduct long-range air strikes.
"There is no doubt, looking at the overall situation, that we are
already in a military confrontation with Iran," Ya'alon said. "Iran is the
main motivator of those attacking us."
Since 2007, officials said, Washington has refused to approve Israeli
requests for air refueling systems, advanced sensors as well as
bunker-busters. They said both the previous administration of President
George W. Bush and the current one of President Barack Obama have denied
military equipment that could be used in an Israeli strike on Teheran's
Officials said Israel was capable of developing most of the systems and
weapons withheld by the United States. They said Israel has sought U.S.
weapons largely because they could be purchased through American military
In his address, Ya'alon said Israel was capable of paralyzing Iranian
defenses. He suggested the prospect of an air strike on Iranian
surface-to-air missile batteries as well as command and control centers.
"As far as I'm concerned, attack remains the best form of defense,"