A former chief of Israeli intelligence, Mossad, insists on striking Iran’s nuclear facilities as the only way of resolving western concerns over its nuclear program.
Speaking to the Army Radio Wednesday night, Danny Yatom, the former director of the notorious intelligence service, said Tel Aviv should attack Iranian nuclear facilities to prevent Iran from “acquiring nuclear weapons.”
“Yes, I have,” the 64 year old answered when asked if he had come to the conclusion that a military strike would be the only way to deal with the Islamic Republic.
Such radical comments, typical of Israeli officials, come amid repeated assertions by major nuclear powers that the Iranian nuclear issue must be resolved through diplomacy.
Israel, the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, accuses Tehran of making efforts to build a nuclear bomb and threatens Iran with a military strike should the country continue uranium enrichment.
Yatom, who from 2003 to 2008 served as a member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, added that he does not believe that the United States would approve of such a move.
“I do not see the world today, led by the United States, ready to take the risk of attacking Tehran’s nuclear facilities,” he said adding that “Israel can not sit back and watch Tehran become nuclear power.”
As one of four nuclear-armed countries not recognized as a Nuclear Weapons State by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Tel Aviv has maintained the policy of neither admitting nor denying its possession of nuclear warheads. However, it is widely believed that Israel has some 200 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.
The doctrine of nuclear ambiguity has enabled Israel to deter foes for decades in a region with only one alleged nuclear power.
The Israeli nuclear program is also part of a deterrence military doctrine that assumes Tel Aviv must maintain an absolute military superiority in the region.
In order to maintain its military advantage, Tel Aviv insists on preventing other Muslim countries, especially in the Middle East, from acquiring nuclear capabilities while remaining outside of the international nuclear non-proliferation system.
According to the same logic, it launched a “preemptive” air strike on the Iraqi breeder reactor in Osirak in June 1981, when the late dictator Saddam Hussein was in power.
During the operation, known as “Operation Opera,” a squadron of Israeli Air Force F-16A fighter aircrafts, with an escort of F-15As, bombed and heavily damaged the Osirak reactor.
Israeli intelligence at the time believed that the summer of 1981 would be the last chance to destroy the reactor before it would be loaded with nuclear fuel.
In September 2007, Israel launched yet another attack against an alleged nuclear facility in Syria. The facility in the eastern Deir ez-Zor region was targeted by at least four fighters which crossed into Syrian airspace just after midnight (local time).