Tel Aviv. Israel is determined to act against the Iranian nuclear program. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “Israel will do everything to stop Iran from having military nuclear capability even if this causes friction with the US”, in the ceremony marking the change in the head of the Israeli Mossad.
Yossi Cohen left the position and was replaced by David ” Dedi” Barnea.
“The biggest threat to us is the existential threat posed by Iran’s attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony. “Whether it threatens us directly with the destruction, or whether it threatens us with tens of thousands of missiles backed by a nuclear umbrella and we must fight that threat endlessly”.
The Israeli prime minister’s declaration reflects the Israel’s total rejection of any attempt made now by the US to reach a ‘new nuclear agreement’ with Teheran. A defence source said that Israel has every needed proof that the Iranian are staging “the biggest hoax” and cheat the world and especially the US.
Iran has in recent months made all the signs that it wants the end of the sanctions. It begun enriching uranium to a level of more than 20%, in further flagrant violation of its commitments under the nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). At the same time, Iran has emphasized that its action is reversible, and it is ready to return to its obligations if the United States returns to the agreement and lifts sanctions.
Israel is closely watching what goes on in the Iranian nuclear facilities “the people who need to know are updated by the hour”, the source said.
According to Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, the Iranian move is aimed at achieving several objectives. The first, shortening the period needed to achieve adequate amounts of enriched uranium to a level higher than 90% for producing a nuclear explosive device. Iran currently has 4.5% enriched material that, if enriched further, will be sufficient for more than two nuclear explosive devices. The time it takes Iran to obtain the amount of uranium required for one device from the moment it decides to do so (“breakout”) is about two months, but if the enrichment to 20% is carried out only by the 1,000 centrifuges operating in the deep underground facility at Fordo, as the Iranians have done so far, it will take longer.
Kuperwasser, was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.
According to Kuperwasser, the appropriate response to the Iranian move is to make clear that any attempt to move towards the acquiring of enough enriched uranium for the production of nuclear weapons will be met harshly, and in this context, “all options are on the table.” At the same time, the economic pressure must be continued in order to compel Iran to accept a new agreement that would scrupulously prevent any possibility of its stockpiling nuclear weapons, which includes full oversight everywhere and at all times, the lifting of restrictions on the duration of the agreement, the demolition of the enrichment facility in Fordo, and the inclusion of ballistic missiles in the deal.
According to Israeli intelligence the Iranians are working in parallel on their nuclear program and on their long range ballistic missiles program.
-The writer is an International Roving Correspondent of the publication.