Israeli PM says Iran must fear credible military threat

U.S. Vice President and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a March 2010 visit to Jersusalem.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (right) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Joel Rosenberg's Weblog)

In no uncertain terms, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during a meeting in New Orleans on Sunday that Iran “must be made to fear a military strike against its nuclear program,” reports Israeli media. The Associated Press indicates that this is a significant departure from Netanyahu’s previous path of diplomacy regarding the Tehran nuclear program. A “credible military threat” could do more than economic sanctions to deter the growth of Iran’s rumored nuclear weapons program, said the prime minister.

The ‘credible military threat’ has U.S. officials on edge

Sanctions are doing more damage than anticipated, said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is against the immediate credible military threat option. “At this point,” he told the AP, “we continue to believe that the political and economic approach that we are taking is in fact having an impact on Iran.”

Both Israel and the United States are disbelieving of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claims that the Tehran nuclear program is intended to simply produce energy. Yet Israel has stated before that it is willing to go beyond diplomacy and pursue a military option, whereas the United States under the Obama administration has preferred a more diplomatic solution. The Israeli position no doubt relates to Ahmadinejad’s previous statements regarding Israel’s destruction and Israel’s geographic proximity to potential Iranian ballistic missiles.

Spies say enriched uranium supply is sufficient

The AP reports that Israel’s chief of military intelligence stated last week that Iran currently has a sufficient amount of enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb. Soon, Iran will also have enough to make a second bomb. The CIA and United Nations have tended to concur with Israel’s analysis, but while one eye is on Iran, the other is fixed firmly upon Israel in order to detect any potential military action.

It wouldn’t be the first time Israel has taken the offensive against the nuclear capabilities of its enemies. The nation’s air force took out an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. However, according to expert testimony given to the Associated Press, taking out an Iranian nuclear program via credible military threat would be more difficult, as many of Iran’s nuclear facilities are either spread out over a large area or located underground.


Associated Press

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