Israel to Simulate Massive Military Strike on Iran as Nuclear Fears Grow

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will conduct a simulated airstrike on Iran during a monthlong military drill that begins at the end of May.

Multiple Israeli media outlets reported on the planned drill, and Ram Ben-Barak, head of the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, confirmed the military exercise during a radio interview.

The Jerusalem Post referred to the simulation, which is reportedly being dubbed "Chariots of Fire," as the "largest military drill" in Israel's history, with thousands of soldiers and reservists taking part. Almost all units of the IDF will participate in the monthlong maneuvers, scheduled to start on May 29, according to The Times of Israel.

The drill will include a simulated attack on Iranian nuclear targets, and the final week of the exercise will take place in Cyprus, The Times of Israel reported. The online outlet said a reason for the drill is that Israel wants to be prepared in case stalled negotiations fail between the United States and Iran over a new nuclear deal.

On Tuesday, Benny Gantz, Israel's defense minister, warned that Iranian efforts to purify uranium have exceeded figures from a March report by the United Nations.

"Iran continues to accumulate irreversible knowledge and experience in the development, research, production and operation of advanced centrifuges," Gantz said during a conference, according to The Times of Israel.

Iran "stands just a few weeks away from obtaining fissile material needed for a first bomb," he added.

An Israeli aircraft takes off
The Israel Defense Forces will conduct a large military drill to simulate striking Iran later this month, according to Israeli media sources. Above, an Israeli C-130 Hercules plane performs in an air show during the graduation ceremony for Israeli air force pilots at the Hatzerim base on December 22, 2021. Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images

In April, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, a nuclear watchdog, said Iran had set up the manufacturing of parts for centrifuges in an underground workshop.

In 2018, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers. Iran later violated various terms of the deal, including enriching uranium at sites not allowed in the agreement, according to reports.

President Joe Biden said in 2021 the U.S. would return to the original deal if Iran began complying with the restrictions, but an agreement has not been reached with Tehran.

Speaking about the "Chariots of Fire" drill with the Reshet Bet radio station, Ben-Barak said plans for the monthlong military exercise and its simulated attack on Iran have been in the works for some time.

"This exercise was planned long ago," Ben-Barak told the station, according to Reuters. "We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best."

Newsweek reached out to Israel's Ministry of Defense for comment.