With Syria crumbling, Egypt experiencing a chaotic post-Mubarak regime, and as the Arab Spring continues to be an inspiration for freedom from despotic leaders in the Middle East, the Jewish state of Israel has all the reason to remain anxious of its existence.
But more than the rebellion displayed by people against oppressive government, and whether or not the end result will allow them to have peace and co-exist with Israel in the region, what has racheted up the Israeli government’s concern for safety, defense, and survival as a nation and people is the relentless development of Iran’s nuclear armament, despite the call for restraint and abandonment of their nuclear program by the international community, specifically the U.S.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a public warning that Tehran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb. Netanyahu has declared that “all the threats currently being directed against the Israeli home front are dwarfed by another threat, different in scope, different in substance.”
This, after an unidentified source stated that new intelligence obtained by Israel, the United States and other Western showed that Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon is progressing far beyond the scope reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Tehran is said to have made significant progress towards assembling a nuclear warhead for a Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of nearly 1,000 miles, putting the whole of Israel, including the Dimona nuclear reactor in the southern Negev desert, within the Islamic republic’s range.
It is for this reason that Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, called on the Western powers to declare that the negotiations with Iran, conducted by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, had failed.
Not wanting to jeopardize his chances of winning re-election in November, President Barack Obama is suggesting for more time for international diplomacy to succeed and in fact Washington has been saying that the U.S. had “eyes” and “visibility” inside Iran’s nuclear program and would know if Tehran made a “breakout” towards a nuclear weapon.
Breakout capability is commonly understood to be the point when a state acquires the knowledge, capability and materials to build a nuclear bomb if it wants to.
Israel, however, can’t seem to wait in any longer. Pressure is building in Israel to take action, this, after the Jewish state has reportedly invested billions in home-front defense, and holding emergency drills, alluding to a military exercise being held in cities across Israel to test a text message warning system against missile strikes.
Because of difference in perception between the US and Israel as to what constitute an unacceptable threat, Israel may decide to draw the first blood and neutralize Iran before it is too late.