The recent flurry of diplomatic activity, press reports that give an awful lot of detail about weapons and tactics, and the curiously timed announcement of a new “bunker buster” bomb suggest a new sense of urgency across the board regarding Iran’s nuclear program, well beyond just Israel.
Whether it is a year that makes the difference, or less, or more, this much is true: the endless cycle of sanctions, waiting, and reports at the UN is not going to end with Iran, having gotten this far, saying, “Alright, fine. We give up. This latest round of sanctions is just a little too uncomfortable.” There must be more action on all fronts than kicking the can down the road to the next report, or the end of that road will be an Iranian nuclear test.
“Israel: time running out to stop a nuclear Iran,” from Reuters, November 19:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran is less than a year away from being unstoppable in its goal of producing a nuclear weapon, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview with CNN released on Saturday.
In an advance transcript of an interview to air on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” program on Sunday, Barak said Israel was focused on the prospect of a nuclear Iran and what “should and could be done about it on time.”
“It’s true that it won’t take three years, probably three quarters before no one can do anything practically about it because the Iranians are gradually, deliberately entering into what I call a zone of immunity, by widening the redundancy of their plan, making it spread over many more sites with many more hidden elements,” he said.
Barak, a former Israeli prime minister, said a report earlier this month by the U.N. nuclear watchdog that Tehran appeared to have worked on designing an atomic bomb and may still be conducting secret research had had a sobering effect on world leaders and was driving urgent, intensive diplomacy.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report confirmed long-standing concerns that Iran aims to build a nuclear weapon, which Israel sees as a threat to its existence. Tehran has said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out possible air strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites.
“I don’t think that that is a subject for public discussion,” Barak said when asked whether Israel was prepared to attack Iran to stop its nuclear ambitions.
He said a nuclear Iran would have deep repercussions for the Middle East, prompting countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt to “turn nuclear” and starting a countdown to putting nuclear materials in the hands of terrorists.