Israeli strike on Iran may be no more than a couple of months away, says ex-intel chief

Aharon Zeevi Farkash speaks out a day after former Mossad chief Halevy says Iranians should be ‘very fearful of next 12 weeks’

An Israeli military strike on Iran may be just weeks or at most a couple of months away, a former Israeli intelligence chief said Friday, while stressing that he personally did not think the time was right for an Israeli attack.

“It seems to me,” said Aharon Zeevi Farkash, former head of Military Intelligence in the IDF, “that [an Israeli attack] could come in the near future… that is, weeks or a couple of months.”

Farkash was speaking a day after Israel’s veteran former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, told Israel Radio that, “If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks.”

Asked whether an Israeli strike would lead to war, Farkash responded: “Absolutely.”

Interviewed on Israel’s Channel 2 News, he added, “The Iranians have to understand” that if they don’t halt their nuclear drive, “they will ultimately have to absorb a blow to their main military sites, from an international coalition, or from the US, or perhaps from Israel.”

Personally, Farkash added, he did not think the time was yet right for a resort by Israel to military action. The decision-makers should “think twice,” he said.

Farkash was speaking a day after Israel’s veteran former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, told Israel Radio that, “If I were an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks.”

Halevy, who is also a former national security adviser and ambassador, added that Israel’s threats of military action had a certain “credibility” and “seriousness.”

On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had not yet decided whether to order military intervention to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive.

When the time did come to decide, he added, objections from military and security chiefs would not prevent him and his government colleagues from ordering a military strike should they deem it necessary.

Netanyahu said he would be only too pleased were the international community to succeed in thwarting Iran’s drive to the bomb via sanctions and non-military methods. But “as of this moment,” he said, while sanctions “have hurt the Iranian economy,” they haven’t pushed back the Iranian drive by “so much as a millimeter.”

He also said Israel would not subcontract its existential security concerns to its friends — “not even the best of them,” like the US.

Both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, with whom he met twice on Sunday, had publicly stated that Israel had the right to defend itself as it sees fit, Netanyahu said.

Also Tuesday, the IDF Chief of the General Staff Benny Gantz said the IDF was “prepared, and ready to act” and that, for the IDF, the oft-repeated statement that “all options are on the table” is “not a slogan, it’s a work plan.”

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