Make no mistake — Israel will not permit Iran to have a nuclear bomb. That is a certainty.
Equally certain is that Iran wants a bomb. Iran very badly wants that nuclear bomb.
And while on either side of the spectrum, Iran, like Israel, is working very hard to achieve their goal. Iran is working to enrich, develop and procure the constituent elements they need to construct a nuclear weapon.
Over the past seven years, the lines in the sand have been moved.
The world has changed. It is not the same world we lived in when the first Nuclear Deal was configured and signed in 2015. During those famous, now infamous, Nuke Deal negotiations Iran had only very limited ability to build a bomb.
And that was why the agreement contained sunset clauses. Why it seemed harmless to include sunset clauses.
The philosophy behind the sunset clauses was that, over time, limitations on Iran’s nuclear development would fade away.
Why? Because, over time, it was believed that Iran would take its place as an upstanding member of the world community. That Iran would no longer be a threat to other nations because of the great benefits it would gain from participating in the world’s economy. That Iran would reap those great profits with the generous assistance of the United States and her economic muscle.
Obviously, something went wrong. Some would venture to say, everything went wrong. From the very outset, Iran did not comply.
The blame, however, does not fall entirely on Iran. Over time, the world also changed — it changed its approach to Iran’s nuclear aspirations.
The lines in the sand were blurred. Iran understood what was happening. And Iranian leadership took advantage of the situation. And why not?
After all, world leadership, including and even championed by the United States seemed committed to coming to a resolution with Iran regardless of the risks.
Israel, too, while not in step with the rest of the Western world, changed their lines in the sand vis a vis Iran, while Israel once fought hard to prevent any Iranian nuclear development especially, enrichment.
Not so long ago, however, the point of no return for Israel was Iran’s enrichment of fissile material. Then the line changed again, this time to how much nuclear fuel Iran had and at what level of purity. And again.
This time the question became not does Iran have enriched uranium, but how much enriched uranium does Iran have. Is it enough to make a bomb and is there enough to create a significant weapon and how many weapons can Iran create.
Israel saw how the world was changing and realized the importance, the necessity, of adjusting her goals on Iran’s nuclear development campaign.
Today, in 2022, Israel’s objective is to slow down the process of Iranian nuclear development. Jerusalem has no delusions about Iran ever becoming a productive member of the world community and this time around.
Israel wants to slow down the Iranian program so that they, Israel, has the time to plan and execute the most efficient and safest strike — an attack that will eliminate Iran’s nuclear threat for the near and distant future.
Israel is mimicking the Western world, following their lead.
You might ask how, why, when did these changes in attitude and in levels of acceptance come about? The answer is that actors on the ground changed as leadership changed. As political objectives changed. As technology changed. And as Iran changed.
Iran is more capable today than they were in 2015. They know more about nuclear fission, and they know more about enrichment. They know more about bomb-making and more about creating bomb-delivery systems.
As Iran changed, as their nuclear capabilities flourished, Israel pursued varying policies aimed setting back their nuclear program.
There were targeted assassinations of scientists as well as targeted explosions in nuclear facilities as well as computer viruses. All part of Israel’s tool chest of smaller and larger attacks on Iran’s nuclear program.
And they worked. They set back Iran’s nuclear progress. But they didn’t work well enough. They did not put a stop to Iran’s nuclear development.
Since 2015, there has been significant Iranian progress in nuclear production capabilities — but they have not yet created a nuclear bomb.
That is because of the Israeli campaign against Iranian nuclear capability. Not yet. But they’re still working hard on it. And Israel is the first target in their sites.
The next logical question is, will Israel’s lines in the sand move again?
No — Unequivocally — NO.
There is no imaginable scenario that Israel will permit Iran to attain a nuclear bomb and delivery system.
There is no Israeli leader, not on the right, the middle or the political left that will permit Iran to attain a nuclear bomb and delivery system.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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