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May 16, 2014 8:05 pm

Report: International Intelligence Agencies Agree With Israel’s Mossad That Iran Nuclear Breakout is Near

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Natanz Nuclear Facility in Iran. Photo: Hamed Saber.

U.S., European and other international intelligence agencies agree with Israeli security officials that Iran is mere months away from becoming a nuclear state, Al-Monitor’s Ben Caspit reported on Thursday.

“There isn’t a single respectable intelligence agency in the world today that is not on the same page, in almost perfect synch, with the Israeli Mossad,” Caspit said. “Everything is based on evidence on the ground, ongoing inspections and visits by the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as on existing, photographed and known sites, some of which remain until this moment locked and barricaded and some of which are under supervision.”

Caspit’s report follows an interview given by retired Brigadier Gen. Uzi Eilam last week to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. The former director of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission told the paper that even considering the most pessimistic viewpoints, Iran won’t complete a deliverable nuclear missile for at least 10 years. Questioning whether Iran even “wants the bomb,” Eilam asserted that Israeli politicians are busy fear-mongering,  and an actual nuclear threat from Iran is years away.

Caspit called Eilam’s comments “seriously far-fetched, to the point of perhaps being completely cut off from reality.” He said to defy evidence of Iran’s work to expand its nuclear capabilities “is irresponsible, especially coming from a person who devoted his entire adult life, with talent and resolve, to Israel’s security.”

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Directly addressing the retired general, Caspit wrote, “for your information, Eilam, the Americans, the Europeans and many other intelligence agencies around the world all share the Israeli assessment.”

“The most optimistic among them believe Iran is about 18 months away from nuclear capability. Quite a few professionals maintain that Iran can already be deemed a nuclear ‘threshold’ state, which is why it seeks to placate its relations with the West, to revive its economy and then press on.”

Caspit said a “very high-ranking Israeli official” told him earlier this week that the Islamic Republic has already reached what Israel calls a “nuclear threshold sphere.”

Iran’s goal for a permanent status agreement, now under discussion with world powers in Vienna, is to “consolidate itself in the sphere of that threshold.”

“The fact remains that they insist on pursuing uninhibited research and development,” the Israeli official told Caspit. “It won’t be long before they are able to manufacture far more cutting-edge centrifuges than what they currently have, which will shorten the timetable and the dates.”

The Israeli official also estimated that it will take two to three months for Iran to break from the nuclear threshold sphere to having a bomb, the writer said.

Caspit said Eilam’s remarks were likely based on the fact that Iran has yet to complete “weaponization,” and is still unable to reduce the size of a nuclear bomb to mount it on a missile. He added that Iranians may just be waiting for an opportune moment to carry out a nuclear test and once that is done, Iran is declared a nuclear state — with or without a deliverable missile.

Caspit said it could happen not in 10 years, but 10 months.

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