Former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Iran has become a “threshold nuclear state,” which is a strategic reality that Israel must now contend with.
However, former Defense Minister and Army Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon confirmed that it is still possible to force Tehran to halt its nuclear program.
In an article published by Yediot Aharonot on Friday, Yaalon said he agrees with Barak’s statement on Iran but disagrees with his conclusions.
The senior official said Tehran’s actions are the result of US President Donald Trump’s failed policy, pushed by former Premier Benjamin Netanyahu.
He affirmed that the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal allowed Iran to be free from its JCPOA obligations and commitments, helping it accelerate the production of enriched uranium by 60 percent.
History shows that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had halted the development of a nuclear program and decided to produce a military bomb twice throughout the years, Yaalon said.
First in 2003, when he realized that there was a potential US war against his regime following the September 11, 2001 events. Then in 2012, when the West exerted a lot of pressure on Tehran, leaving it with two options, either to proceed with producing a nuclear bomb or preserve the regime.
“It is time to push Khamenei to a similar scenario,” Yaalon stressed.
In order to attain this goal, he suggested that Israel fully coordinates with the US administration, unlike what happened under Netanyahu's rule.
Yaalon further pointed to the importance of ending talks about returning to the previous deal, describing it as a “terrible mistake.”
Americans should be convinced to revive the alliance broken by Trump and put a three-point plan, in which it isolates the regime, imposes harsh economic sanctions gradually and prepares for a military option, Yaalon wrote.
The superficial debate between launching a military attack and acknowledging Iran as a nuclear state leads to nowhere, he affirmed.
Israel is not the only state that cannot coexist with a nuclear Iran. The Middle East region, Europe and the rest of the world cannot too unless they decide to compromise their interests, he added.
Unfortunately, countries in which governments and administrations rule for four years seek to postpone the “decision” to the succeeding administrations instead of accepting the challenge, Yaalon concluded.