Leading Israeli military correspondent Yaakov Katz tells Newsmax that Israel is prepared to launch an attack on Iran if the world does not stop the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons.
Iran could target American troops in the Middle East following any attack, he says, adding that the Obama administration is not doing enough to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Katz is a correspondent and defense analyst for The Jerusalem Post and co-author of the book “Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War.”
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Katz was asked about reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pressing his ministers to agree to an attack on Iran.
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“I think Israel is at the stage where it has been for several years now with regard to the Iranian threat, and that is that there is a viable military option on the table,” Katz says.
“Israel is basically saying to the world, we are prepared to use this military option if you do not get your act together and begin to enact and impose tougher, sharper sanctions on Iran, on Iran’s central bank and other economic institutions. If that does not happen, Israel might feel it has to use its military option to stop Iran.”
The Israelis are “saying that we feel that the window of opportunity to stop Iran is beginning to close,” he adds.
“Iran is dispersing its capabilities to various facilities throughout the country. They’re moving advanced centrifuges to the underground facility near the city of Qom. They have a proven ability to enrich uranium to 20 percent levels, which means it’s just a jump of several months before they start to enrich uranium to military grade of over 90 percent. Therefore, I think we will see something will have to happen over the next year.
“All the saber-rattling right now is a way of signaling to the world, you’ve got to start taking us a little more seriously because, if you don’t, then we do have this viable option of a military strike that we will consider taking at some later date. I think the world has some time now — not long, though, a few months possibly — to really start to crack down on Iran.”
Regarding the consequences of such an attack, Katz tells Newsmax: “The general assessment within the Israeli defense establishment is that Israel will find itself under unprecedented rocket fire from the north by Hezbollah in Lebanon, from the south by Hamas in Gaza, potentially by Syria if they were to get involved. Iran would likely fire some of its missiles into Israel.
“There could be consequences as well to the world if the Iranians decide to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, which is the main thoroughfare for oil to the Western world.
“I think American troops could potentially be targeted in Iraq and Afghanistan from the Iranian wrath that could follow an Israeli strike, or any strike for that matter. So that leads me to believe that to some extent Israel has to coordinate this with America and some other countries, because there are far-reaching implications that wouldn’t just affect Israel but could affect many other countries as well.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is scheduled to release a new report on the Iranian nuclear program next week. Katz comments: “It’s no secret that Iran has developed long-range ballistic missiles. They’ve also succeeded in enriching uranium. So they have the two components. The big question is, what’s with the weapon? Can they put everything together and create a nuclear device? I think today the world is mostly in agreement that Iran is working on a weapon. And I think that’s what the IAEA next week is likely to come out and say a little clearer than we’ve heard in the past.”
Asked whether the Obama administration is doing enough to protect Israel and minimize Iran’s nuclear threat, Katz responds: “I think the Obama administration is committed to Israel’s security. It is providing Israel with advanced and sophisticated military capability, and funding for its various missile defense systems.
“But what I think the Obama administration needs to be doing more is pushing for tougher sanctions against Iran, and those we have yet to see.
“One main example is the central bank of Iran. They have yet to be sanctioned. And if they are sanctioned, there’s no question that it will have a dire effect on the Iranian economy.
“We all need to understand that that’s a better scenario than the fallout that could come after any military strike against Iran.”
Editor’s note: To get a copy of Yaakov Katz’s book, “Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War,” at a good price — Go Here Now.
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