WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The United States and Israel are considering a surgical strike on Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities, Foreign Policy magazine says.
Based on a source reported to be close to discussions between the sides, the report published Monday maintains the strike may only take "a couple of hours" involving a "day or two," and would be conducted using "primarily bombers and drone support."
If such a strike is carried out it would set the Iranian nuclear program back many years, the report said and would do so without civilian casualties.
Benefits of such a strike would be regional, Foreign Policy says.
It quotes an unnamed advocate saying the outcome would be "transformative" -- "saving Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, reanimating the peace process, securing the (Persian) Gulf, sending an unequivocal message to Russia and China, and assuring American ascendancy in the region for a decade to come."
Such a strike cannot be conducted by Israel alone and would require the involvement of the United States, "whether acting alone or in concert with Israel and others," the report says.
The report maintains that taking into account the progress made between Israel and the U.S. administration in recent weeks, such a strike would be the easiest way for President Barack Obama to defuse Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's critique on Iran.
"It's not the size of the threatened attack but the likelihood that it will actually be made, that makes a military threat a useful diplomatic tool. And perhaps a political one, too," the report says.