Israeli officials are becoming increasingly frustrated by the international community’s foot-dragging regarding Iran’s defiant nuclear program. Sanctions are having almost no impact, and there is no credible threat of force. For most Israelis, it seems the world has accepted a nuclear-armed Iran as a foregone conclusion.
Speaking at a counter-terrorism conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya on Sunday, former Mossad chief Danny Yatom said that if NATO or some other coalition of air forces would attack even just some of Iran’s nuclear facilities, it could buy plenty of time to ultimately prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining atomic weapons.
“If the modern air forces led by the United States mobilize their capabilities it is possible, if not to completely remove the threat, at least to delay it for years to come,” said Yatom.
But Europe and the Obama Administration have signaled they have absolutely no intention of using force to stop Iran, and so Israel must retain the right to self-defense. “Figure out for yourselves what that means,” Yatom told his audience.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned US President Barack Obama that history will judge his administration largely on whether or not Iran went nuclear on his watch.
Barak said that it would be no more than a year or two before Iran fields a nuclear weapon, and depending on what is in all those secret underground facilities Iran is building, it could be much sooner.
Israel has a long history of watching its Muslim neighbors make good on their dangerous promises. Barak cautioned that the posturing and declarations of Iran’s leaders must not be taken lightly, no matter how outlandish they may appear.
And that admonition applies not only to Israel, but to every other nation as well. “I believe that the whole world has to take it seriously,” said Barak. “A nuclear Iran…will start an arms race towards nuclear capacity among several members of the Middle Eastern community. It will give a tailwind to (global jihad).”
Barak was in the US to meet with administration officials regarding, among other things, the severity of the Iranian threat and the rapidly narrowing window of opportunity to act.
But the Israeli’s warnings appeared to do little good. In his own interview on CNBC after meeting with Barak, Obama acknowledged that nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran are “a real problem,” but insisted that military intervention is not the “ideal way” to deal with it.
“We continue to be open to diplomatic solutions to resolve this,” said Obama, sidestepping the fact that diplomatic efforts to talk Iran down have been going on for nearly a decade with absolutely no positive results. In fact, as many Israelis see it, the situation has worsened since Obama took office and effectively took the military option off the table. Iran is now more convinced than ever that international sanctions and threats have no teeth.
[Editor’s note: Israel Today has obtained information from top government officials regarding the sudden change in IDF leadership, and how the situation with Iran influenced it. We will be publishing this in our October issue - [don’t miss it!]1]]