Iran has essentially crossed the “red line” set by Israel for its nuclear activity, and the coming few months will be a crucial period, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, a former head of IDF Military Intelligence, said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a security conference in Tel Aviv, Yadlin said that “for all intents and purposes, Iran has crossed Israel’s red line… in the summer, Iran will be a month or two away from deciding about a bomb.”
Unless there is a drastic increase in international pressure on the Islamic Republic, Yadlin said, Iran will continue to expand its nuclear program.
“There won’t be an agreement if there isn’t a price for [not] reaching one,” he added.
In a speech before the UN last September, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out a “red line” for Iran, and in later interviews he clarified that Iran’s enrichment activities must stop before they produce enough 20%-enriched uranium for a single bomb, some 240 kg. (529 lbs).
Yadlin said that because of the June Iranian elections, Israel and the West had until then to decide on a military option to destroy or curtail Iran’s nuclear operation, and expressed assurance that Israel was up to the task with or without direct help from the US.
Also speaking at the Tel Aviv conference, former intelligence and justice minister MK Tzachi Hanegbi said time was running out.
“it’s now or never,” said Hanegbi, but “the option of never does not exist.”
Hanegbi addressed his comments to US President Barack Obama and said, “You cannot subject your considerations to our needs,” meaning that the US has many other considerations and Israel has to act according to its own imperatives.
The possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran gained additional traction on Monday, when US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced in Tel Aviv an unprecedented US sale of advanced military equipment to Israel, including radar systems, missiles, refueling planes and V-22 planes, which would greatly increase the IAF’s capacity to carry out a long-range attack.
Mitch Ginsburg contributed to this report.