Ex-Israeli PM warns against military action against Iran
Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak says surgical military action against Iran is no longer effective, acknowledging that Tehran is well capable of “harassing” Israel.
In an article published in Time magazine on Monday, Barak claimed that Iran could make a decision “this summer” to become a nuclear power.
“This summer, Iran will turn into a de-facto threshold nuclear state. Yes, it will still take them from 18 to 24 months to polish their skills treating metal uranium and packing it into a missile warhead. But these steps can be executed in a small lab or workshop and cannot be easily followed, never mind stopped.”
He wondered why Washington and Tel Aviv did not launch “a kinetic attack capable of delaying the Iranian program by at least several years” after former US President Donald Trump nixed the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018.
“Both Israel and (for sure) the US can operate over the skies of Iran against this or that site or installation and destroy it. But once Iran is a de-facto threshold nuclear state, this kind of attack simply cannot delay the Iranians from turning nuclear.”
“In other words, unlike the surgical operations that were considered 12 years ago, or could have been considered 4 years ago–operations which could have substantially delayed the Iranian program (while risking a war with Iran)–the present possibilities bring all the risk of war (especially for Israel) with only scant likelihood of delaying the Iranian nuclear program.”
Barak also admitted that Iran, which he described as “a tough and bitter rival” is capable of “harassing Israel.”
“However, when it comes to nuclear capability, bear in mind that creating a preliminary nuclear arsenal can take a decade or more. It becomes a potential existential threat to Israel only in the longer term.”
In his article, Barak called for several actions to face what he claimed to be “the real new phase” of Iran’s nuclear program.
“If a new agreement with Iran, even a dubious one, helps preserve the NPT, that would still serve useful purposes… Washington must establish a small club of relevant states, Israel among them, and make sure that high investments in intelligence minimize the risk of missing any crucial developments.”
He also called for equipping Israel with the means “to enable it to carry out an independent attack.”
Iran has repeatedly maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has even issued a fatwa (religious decree) against the possession and use of weapons of mass destruction.
Iran has also warned that it will not remain passive in the event the enemies make the deadly mistake of targeting the country.
The Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, on Sunday once again warned Iran’s enemies against conducting any hostile action on Iranian territory.