Iran and Israel: “red line” is crossed again
Peter Lyukimson, Israel. Exclusively to Vestnik Kavkaza
Recently the Wall Street Journal, citing sources in the American government, published an article which says that if Iran decided to develop its nuclear program in plutonium direction, instead of uranium enrichment, it would increase chances for an attack by Israel. The point is that unlike uranium reactors, plutonium reactors cannot be hidden underground or in mountains, which confirmed by the building facility in Arak.
The shift to “plutonium direction” can be caused by several factors. First of all, rejection of uranium enrichment can lead to cancelation of sanctions; secondly, plutonium bombs are more beneficial from the technical point of view, and all leading nuclear powers produce warheads from plutonium. An important factor is also that the close ally of Tehran, the DPRK, has experience in creating a plutonium bomb. There is also the other variant which is actually being implemented today in Iran: both directions develop, even though uranium enrichment is still top-priority.
On August 6 President of the U.S. was given the letter signed by 76 member of the Senate from both parties, who demanded from Obama to stiffen pressure on Iran and demonstrate that America would use force if necessary.
Unlike optimism in Washington, connecting with the change of Iranian president, Israel is very skeptical. It believes that there will be no changes in Iran’s position. Only its tone can change, not its businesses. The attitude was expressed in Benjamin Netanyahu’s interview to the TV-channel CBS a month ago. According to him, abstract clocks of Israel and the U.S. “ticks in different pace” on everything which concerns the Iranian nuclear program. Israel is closer to Iran than the U.S., more vulnerable, and should treat Iran as a threat to its existence. So, Israel should decide whether the Iranian nuclear race should be stopped earlier than the U.S.
On August 6th “a very top source in Jerusalem” (usually the euphemism hides either the defense minister or Premier) expressed doubts in the U.S. readiness to prevent creating a nuclear bomb by Iran by any means, even though Washington had many times stated about it. “The source” referred to Syria. Even though Barack Obama initially said that using chemical weapon by the regime of Bashar Assad was crossing “the red line”, America preferred not to notice obvious things for a long time, and when using chemical weapon had to be recognized, it continued doing nothing. The top source stated that it confirmed that Israel couldn’t completely rely on American promises; he also added that Israel is able to conduct a military operation against Iran without the U.S. support, even though such an operation will be less effective than American or American-Israeli operations.
Moreover, Israel is concerned that in case of direct negotiations between Tehran and Washington, sanctions against Iran will be reduced, while Iranian concessions won’t match fundamental Israeli demands. I.e. Iran will continue creating the bomb in favorable political and economic conditions.
Many Middle East allies of the U.S. are concerned with the American approach which doesn’t coincide with their expectations. A bright example is hysteria over a threat from Al Qaeda to commit a terrorist attack, when American offices have been closed all over the world, especially in the Middle East. The most absurd was closing the embassy in Tel Aviv, while in Yemen emergency evacuation of American citizens began. On August 6th American intelligence services intercept a telephone talk between the head of Al Qaeda and its commander on the Arab Peninsula. The head ordered to commit a terrorist attack against Americans. American intelligence services decided that the danger was huge like never before. So, panic started and surprised the whole world. Hysteria was stirred up by information that Al Qaeda terrorists got the most complicated high-tech bombs which are difficult to identify. It is obvious that American offices and facilities have always been top-priority targets for Al Qaeda terrorists. Probably the U.S. should close them forever. Meanwhile, some political commentators expressed the view that the panic was artificially caused by the Washington administration to justify themselves in the context of Edward Snowden’s disclosures.
In the middle of the next month the Israeli prime minister plans to visit New York to take part in the UN General Assembly session. The main topic of his speech will be the Iranian nuclear power. If it brings no results, Israel will have to consider taking radical measures by its own. The decision on the attack will be hard and can lead to various serious consequences. On the other hand, nuclear Iran is unacceptable for Israel. It seems contradictions between Israel and the U.S. will continue to grow, while Iran approaches its goal.