by DAVID AXE
For Army Day on April 18, the Iranian air force planned a massive, ceremonial fly-over, involving 140 aircraft: fighters, bombers, transports and helicopters. All the planes were in place when, at the last minute, the event was canceled and the planes sent home. The official excuse was poor weather, but reports say the skies were clear and the sun was shining.
So why did Tehran cancel the fly-over? According to Air Forces Monthly, the Iranian government perhaps believed that Israel was planning on bombing the assembled aircraft, on the day of the event — effectively destroying Iran’s entire, beleaguered air arm. AFM bases their assessment, in the June issue, on local Iranian news reports that in turn referred to Russian intelligence sources.
In fact, it’s unlikely Israel would launch such an attack, unprovoked. While Israel has the capability to bomb Iran, using long-range F-15 fighters, the country lacks a compelling reason to do so. It’s one thing to bomb isolated arms convoys in the Sudanese desert or suspected Syrian nuke facilities. It’s quite another to wipe out another nation’s air force, in one swoop. Such a raid would have killed hundreds and amounted to a declaration of full-scale war.
But that doesn’t mean Tehran didn’t believe a raid was possible. If true, it says more about Tehran’s paranoia, than any alleged Israeli plot.
(Photo: Creative Commons)