Experts disagree on whether Iran even has the raw material to construct a single nuclear weapon if it chose to do so. They seem to agree, hawkish political sloganeering notwithstanding, that Iran has not diverted any of that material to military ends. Either way, the Israeli military’s annual security assessment sees them as a grave threat to Israel’s very survival, what with that non-zero possibility that they might hypothetically be able to make a single atomic weapon if they really wanted to.
To that end, the assessment calls for Israel to work discreetly on contingency plans for an attack on Iran, in addition to keeping a close eye on the US to prevent any deal between the Americans and Iran that would undermine Israel’s agenda. The assessment isn’t limited to Iran, also planning a “major ground offensive” in the Gaza Strip and urging the government to do everything in its power to prevent the Palestinian Authority from holding elections. In a more conciliatory tone it was open to withdrawal from the Golan Heights in return for peace with Syria.
Israeli officials have often threatened to attack Iran, and have pressured the United States not to rule out an attack of its own, claiming the Iranian nuclear program is a threat to the entire world. Former Israeli military chief Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, a top candidate for Defense Minister after Israel’s next election, calls for immediate regime change in Iran and potentially the assassination of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, though his aides insist the later comment was taken “out of context.”
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