More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters took part in the exercise, which was carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece during the first week of this month, the newspaper said.
Helicopters and refueling tankers flew more than 900 miles, about the distance that separates Israel and Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, the Times said.
Israeli officials declined to discuss details of the exercise, the newspaper said. ``The Israeli Air Force regularly trains for various missions in order to confront and meet the challenges posed by the threats facing Israel,'' the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement after being contacted for comment by Bloomberg News.
A senior U.S. Defense Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one purpose of the exercise was to send a message to the U.S., Europe and Iran that Israel is ready to use force if diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from producing bomb-grade uranium aren't pursued vigorously, according to the Times.
Several U.S. officials said they don't think Israel is bent on attacking Iran or that a strike is imminent, the newspaper added.