Iran is an imminent threat to Israel armed with nuclear weapons. Iran has the ability to strike the heartland of Israel with its Shihab missile. Armed with nuclear warheads this poses a dangerous and deadly scenario for Israel.
Mossad intelligence service chief Meir Dagan said that the specter of nuclear weaponry in Iran was the greatest threat that Israel has faced since its founding in 1948, Israel Radio reported.
Appearing before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for the first time since assuming his post, Dagan said that Iran was close to the “point of no return” in developing nuclear arms.
Last week, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said that within the next year Iran would reach a point of no return, where the Islamic regime would not require outside help to produce nuclear bombs.
President Bush last week also called on the international community to unite in order to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, The Financial Times reported. “The Iranians must hear from a unified world that it is unacceptable for them to develop a nuclear weapon,” Bush said in an interview with the newspaper.
An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report charged that Iran covered up past nuclear programs, including enriching uranium and processing small amounts of plutonium, essential elements of nuclear weapons.
Despite recent Iranian promises to cooperate with the IAEA, the Mossad believes Iran is determined to produce nuclear weapons to emulate North Korea and boost its status in the international community, Knesset spokesman Giora Pordes quoted Dagan as saying.
Dagan also briefed the lawmakers on the twin homicide attacks on Istanbul synagogues that killed 23 people on Saturday, telling them that contrary to news reports, Israel had no specific intelligence warnings before the attacks.
Dagan also cited as threats to Israel Tehran’s support for terrorist organizations such as Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, as well as the missiles that militants have deployed in southern Lebanon.
He said that one and a quarter million residents of northern Israel were in range of the missiles.
Mossad heads refrained from appearing before the committee in the past, fearing that sensitive information could be leaked to the news media, preferring to report to select subcommittees instead.
However, committee chairman MK Yuval Steinitz persuaded Dagan to brief the whole committee, Pordes said.
Arab “Palestinian” sources said Monday that Dagan had earlier met with Egypt’s intelligence chief, General Omar Suleiman. Suleiman later held talks in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, pressing the case for Arab “Palestinian” factions to declare a cease-fire.
With the new F-16I fighter jets Iran’s ability to strike the heartland of Israel is countered with Israel’s ability to strike the heartland of Iran. Iran’s nuclear program is an imminent threat to its neighbor Israel and also to international peace and stability.
Iran may be the next “axis of evil” target in the international “War on Terrorism.”