Reports coming from within Israel have revealed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is increasingly close to ordering a military strike against Iran, believing that diplomatic attempts to shut down the country’s nuclear program have failed.
Israeli’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon urged for an international declaration that the diplomatic efforts to stop Tehran’s uranium had died. Negotiations with Iran have been handled by members of the United Nation’s Security Council along with Germany. Speaking on Israel Radio on Sunday, Ayalon said that the involved parties should “declare today that the talks have failed.”
Once that claim is made, avenues for a military strike would be open for Israel, as well as the United States and NATO forces, should they choose to get involved. When asked about an acceptable time frame for Iranians to give up on nuclear development, Ayalon said “weeks, and not more than that.”
Ayalon’s comments seem to verify what many believe to be Israel’s commitment to a military campaign against Iran. Last week, a number of Israel reports suggested that Netanyahu and other officials were already planning attacks for as early as this fall. Though no specifics were given, Israeli media embraced the possibility with increasing seriousness, believing that the government would act regardless of support from the United States. An attack would almost certainly spur immediate retaliation from Iran, something that the Israeli home front may not be prepared for.
Iran has faced a number of sanctions regarding its nuclear program, but maintains that the development is strictly for civilian purposes. Israeli’s highest ranking ministers, including Netanyahu, have said that though the sanctions have impacted Iran’s economy, the nuclear program has continued unhampered. Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom challenged the United States, asking for the country to enact “even more extensive and even more comprehensive sanctions which could overwhelm the Iranian regime and possibly even topple it, or bring it to make the decision to abandon the nuclear program.”
Even faced with violent retaliation from Iran, Netanyahu seems steadfast and ready to strike. In a transcript released by his office Netanyahu addressed the viability of the country’s home-front defense capabilities, while asserting that the possibility of nuclear weapons in Iran was a greater threat than any other.
“There has been a significant improvement in our home-front defense capabilities,” Netanyahu said in the transcript. “One cannot say that there are no problems in this field because there always are, but all of the threats that are currently being directed against the Israeli home front pale against a particular threat, different in scope, different in substance, and therefore I reiterate that Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.”