Saturday, November 27, 2021

Ex-IDF intel chief: In a revived nuke deal, Iran will be much closer to bomb

The former head of Israel’s Military Intelligence warned Friday that Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear bomb will be much shorter if there is a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as a result of the progress Tehran made in enriching uranium since former president Donald Trump vacated the agreement in 2018 at Israel’s behest.

Amos Yadlin told Channel 12 Tehran will be just “two months away” from a nuclear bomb under a renewed deal. Yadlin may have actually been referring to the time Iran would need to produce enough weapons-grade plutonium for a nuclear bomb. Experts have estimated that constructing a weapon would take another 18-24 months after enough material is amassed.

Yadlin, a onetime Labor candidate for defense minister, blasted the previous Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu for encouraging then Trump to withdraw from the JCPOA without planning for how Iran would subsequently respond.

Yadlin — who served as head of the IDF Military Intelligence Unit from 2006 to 2010 and was Israel’s defense attaché in Washington for two years before that — made the comments days before world powers were set to renew talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the JCPOA. The former Air Force general did not sound particularly optimistic.

“The problem started in 2018. If someone fell asleep on guard duty in 2015 [when the deal was signed], then they left the watchtower entirely in 2018,” Yadlin said. “Because when Israel convinced Trump to leave the agreement — the Iranians are not suckers. It was clear that either they would leave the agreement or they would violate it, and there should’ve been a plan formulated for what we would do then. READ MORE