Fri Nov 8, 2019, 01:25 PM

Pompeo Confirms Israels Nightmare Scenario on Iranian Nuke

Ben Caspit November 8, 2019

In one sentence, the US Secretary of State managed Nov. 7 to define the ultimate nightmare of diplomatic and security decision-makers in Israel and bring all the demons out into the open: “Members of the international community who are rightly concerned with Iran's latest attacks and provocations should imagine how Iran would behave with a nuclear weapon,” Mike Pompeo said, following the Iranian declaration of the start of phase 4 in its slow withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. He confirmed the estimate of Israeli intelligence that was published here a year ago, according to which the Iranians will violate the agreement gradually, in slow steps, that will gradually grow, until they reach a range from which they could break through to a military nuclear program within a few months.

In the end, so estimated Israeli intelligence officers after the United States left the nuclear agreement, Iran would be ready for a quick “breakthrough” toward the first military nuclear facility. This is, exactly, the situation Israel fears more than anything else on earth. Pompeo also discussed this possibility, saying that the United States will not let it happen; but these words convinced no one in Jerusalem, nor in Tel Aviv (the location of the Israel Defense Forces and intelligence agencies’ headquarters).

“Unfortunately, experience teaches us,” a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “that not all of the Trump administration’s declarations are translated into deeds. The thing is that this time we are reaching an existential crossroad that might force us to choose an independent path. This time this isn’t North Korea, but Iran, whose declared intention is to erase Israel from the map of the world.”

Israeli intelligence predicted with astonishing accuracy all that has happened in the year and a half since President Donald Trump declared the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, in May 2018. In conversation with Al-Monitor in mid-2018, a senior intelligence source, speaking on condition of anonymity, sketched the full scenario: The Iranians would respond to the American exit from the agreement with violations that would grow in severity, it was said in that conversation. At first, they will start enriching uranium again to the 3.5% level, then they will increase the number of centrifuges. Later, they will increase the enriched uranium supply they hold in their territory, then they will operate the enrichment facility at Fordow and start using their sophisticated, fast centrifuges.


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