With Iran barely months away from “breakout,” PM Naftali Bennett stated on Monday, Nov. 22, that “Israel won’t be bound” by any revival of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.… and will maintain its freedom of action.” He also pointed to the widening dispute with the Biden administration on Iran, saying, “It is possible that there will be disputes with the best of our friends.”
Opposition lawmaker Tzahi Hanegbi has estimated that Israel has no more than 3-5 months to stop Iran reaching a nuclear threshold. As a former confidante of ex-PM Binyamin Netanyahu and former chairman of a key parliamentary committee, Hanegbi spoke from knowledge. Other mavens are more pessimistic. According to estimate on Nov. 21, Iran is “somewhere between three weeks and a few months” from breakout – i.e., having enough material for a bomb – “which would change the geopolitical calculation throughout the Middle East.”
Another knowledgeable opinion came from recently retired Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, who directed a string of alleged sabotage strikes earlier this year for disrupting Iran’s progress towards a nuke. In a speech on Sunday, he said: “I think Israel must have the capability to fight [Iran’s nuclear program] alone, like we did twice in the past in Iraq and Syria.” In his view, Iran’s 60pc enrichment of uranium, a short step from weapons grade, could be halted by bombing its underground enrichment plants in Fordow and Natanz.
The NYT stepped in once again on Monday, quoting Israeli officials this time as revealing a bunker=busting capability that “would obviate the need for the kind of help they sought from the bush administration 13 years ago.”.