Iran has crossed the nuclear red line set by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
former Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin announced
Speaking at a Tel Aviv conference held by the Institute for
National Security Studies, which he heads, Yadlin later clarified the remarks,
saying, “If Iran continues to enrich uranium at its current rate, toward the end
of the year it will cross the red line in a clear manner.”
former army intelligence head said, “Despite all of the attempts made to stop
the nuclear program, no one is able to stop the Islamic Republic’s nuclear
Tuesday’s comments are in line with an assessment made by
Yadlin in February, when he said that, at its current rate of uranium
enrichment, the Islamic Republic would reach nuclear breakout capacity between
June and August.
Netanyahu has defined Israel’s red line regarding Iran
as the possession of 250 kg. of uranium enriched to the 20 percent level, known
as medium-enriched uranium.
According to an International Atomic Energy
Agency report released in February, Tehran has not crossed that point, but has
already amassed 167 kg. of uranium enriched to that level.
summer, Iran will be a month or two away from a decision about the bomb,” Yadlin
said at the INSS conference, adding that the decision whether to advance beyond
that will be made after Iran’s presidential elections in June.
amasses sufficient enriched uranium, “it will be very hard to stop,” Yadlin
said. “If the US, Iran and Israel all stand behind their announcements, then we
are on a collision course toward the end of the year.”
According to the
former Military Intelligence head, Tehran already has enough low-enriched
uranium for six bombs, and nearly enough medium-enriched uranium for one
“They have no problem converting back what they allegedly turned to
nuclear fuel. Within a week, it could be turned into nuclear material for a
bomb,” he warned, referring to Iran’s decision in 2012 to reduce international
tensions by converting some of its enriched uranium to fuel rods.
reality, Yadlin told Channel 2, the uranium was not converted to fuel rods, but
rather, to uranium oxide, which is easy to turn back to nuclear material, a
process that can be completed within a week, he said.
In London last
week, Netanyahu told the BBC that Iran has crept up to the red line for the
production of a nuclear weapon – which he dramatically referenced when he held
up a diagram of a bomb as he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly
opening session in the fall – but has not crossed it. He explained that Iran was
of medium-enriched uranium away from the required amount for one
“It takes 250 kg. of 20% enriched uranium to manufacture
one nuclear bomb,” he said. “They’ve gone up from 110 to roughly 170
That’s if you want precise measurement.”
On Tuesday, Yadlin
noted that the Arak nuclear reactor would become operational by 2014. He
stressed that without a drastic change in the sanctions placed on the Islamic
Republic, it would continue buying time and expanding its nuclear
“There will be no agreement if there is no motivation to
reaching an agreement,” he said, adding that the credibility of American
military action is a condition to the success of the negotiations.
credibility will be achieved if the US aims a precise strike to stop the Iranian
nuclear program and shows that it can deal with the escalation that would follow
Tovah Lazaroff and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this