Israel has the ability to set back Iran’s nuclear program “for a very long time,” according to former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror, the Financial Times reported Monday
In an exclusive interview with the FT, Amidror said Israel has the capability and reserves the right to take unilateral military action against Iranian nuclear facilities.
Israeli pilots have spent years practicing long-range flights to prepare for the possibility of an military operation against Iran, he said. Asked whether Israel military capabilities included strikes against underground sites, Amridror replied “including everything."
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But he declined to elaborate further on that point.
“We don’t need permission from anyone — we are an independent state,” said Amidror, who held the post from 2011 through 2013 under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We have our own sovereignty,” he added. “If Israel is in a position to defend itself, Israel will do it.”
Iran’s nuclear program “is not just a threat to Israel; it is a threat to the whole of the Middle East, and, towards the end of this decade, to the world,” Amidror said. “But we cannot count on others to do the job if others don’t want to do the job.”
“We are not bluffing,” he added. “We are very serious — preparing ourselves for the possibility that Israel will have to defend itself by itself.”
Talks between Iran and six world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program have not resulted in an agreement. But U.S. officials have expressed optimism about the prospects for a deal, and negotiations are slated to resume Wednesday.
Netanyahu told French President Francois Hollande on Sunday that he was “gravely concerned” that the world powers currently negotiating with Iran would agree to a deal in which Tehran partially stopped its nuclear program in exchange for a relaxing of international sanctions, Israel National News reported
“I’m concerned, gravely concerned, that this deal will go through and in one strike of the pen, it will reduce the sanctions on Iran — sanctions that took years to put in place — and in return for this, Iran gives practically nothing,” Netanyahu said.
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