The Iranian nuclear program is spread across dozens of sites over an area that is bigger than France, Germany and Spain combined and located 1,000 miles away from Israel. Israel could and did use military strikes to take single facilities in Syria and Iraq to delay their nuclear programs.
An effective Israeli attack would require repeated waves of air strikes over several to many days.
Ilan Jonas, chief executive of Prime Source, a Tel Aviv-based political risk consultancy, and was chief of staff to former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni provided an analysis to Bloomberg that it is more feasible for Israel to seriously set back Iran’s nuclear program.
Israeli strike would have included not only in a long war with Hezbollah but also in strong diplomatic condemnations.
Israel now has effective anti-missile systems.
Saudi Arabia and US support would be key
Saudi Arabia would give a green light for Israeli warplanes to pass through its airspace, or that Israeli air tankers would be allowed to hover over the Arabian Peninsula in order to refuel IAF jets.
The Saudis (and potentially other Gulf countries) might allow Israeli warplanes targeting Iranian nuclear targets to take off and land at Gulf Cooperation Council air bases.
This would cut the distance to striking Iran down by 500 to 700 miles.
This would be a game changer in terms of the Israeli air force’s ability to effectively destroy Iran’s dozens of nuclear facilities.
The Trump administration — unlike the Obama White House — is likely to agree to provide Israel with “bunker-buster” bombs that would be essential to destroy key elements of the Iranian nuclear program, specifically the Fordow enrichment facility, which is buried in a mountain tens of meters underground.
Below is where US bases are in middle eastern countries adjacent to Iran.