Recent reports suggest a widening rift between Israel and the US on the subject of the Iranian nuclear timeline. Washington, eager to give the unprecedented latest round of sanctions the time to work its magic, may be keeping the possibility of a military strike “on the table,” but at times it seems as if the option is buried under a thick ledger of statements from Iran’s Central Bank.

Israel, on the other hand, is staring down the barrel of an entirely different timeline, and with a “point of no return” — the future date at which Iran will have acquired sufficient fissile material to assemble a bomb at will — apparently merely months away, Jerusalem may not have the luxury to cheer from the sidelines in the hope that Ahmadinejad and co. will succumb to growing isolation and economic hardship.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that Israel’s rulers will launch daring sorties thousands of miles over enemy territory if it means ensuring the Jewish State’s continued — according to foreign reports, of course — regional nuclear hegemony. This time around, however, the Israeli Air Force may fall short of the kind of firepower required to take out installations such as the enrichment facility at Fordo, which is reportedly below the reach of even the most advanced of US ordnance, not to mention the IAF’s recently acquired Gulf War I-era bunker busters.

Should Israel risk incurring the wrath of both the ayatollahs and the Obama Administration and press forward with a military strike that may ultimately prove insufficient to significantly set back Iran’s nuclear program? Join the debate in the comments below.

Follow the Times of Israel Ops & Blogs on Twitter