By Mark Russell
Syria descending into civil war, the Arab Spring, instability in Egypt—the Middle East is full of uncertainties that threaten Israel, but all of them are “dwarfed” by Iran’s nuclear threat, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night, reports Reuters.
Netanyahu’s comments were broadcast live by Israel’s media, and published in both right- and left-wing newspapers, as debate grows in Israel over whether the country needs to go to war with Iran. “I say again that Iran must not be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.
Pressure is building in Israel to take action, especially with yesterday’s disclosure that a new intelligence report presented to President Obama shows that Iran’s nuclear program has made developments “far beyond the scope known” by UN inspectors, according to the left-leaning newspaper Haaretz.
Washington officials would not comment on whether such a report even exists, but they maintain that Iran is undecided about its nuclear weapons program and remains years away from having nuclear capability.
Some analysts think Netanyahu’s talk is posturing designed to keep the pressure on for sanctions against Iran, while others see it largely as a domestic political strategy.