In light of Iran's actions, Israel isn't leaving room for uncertainty

With the open operations carried out by Iran, in Israel there's no room for uncertainty, therefore Israeli Intelligence is following developments very closely.

By TAL LEV RAM/MAARIV
November 6, 2019 01:32
4 minute read.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani listens during a news conference on the sidelines of the 73rd sessio

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani listens during a news conference on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 26, 2018. (photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)

[Iran is] violating the [nuclear] agreement and running to tell everyone, and not by chance. Only a day after his country announced the activation of 30 centrifuges, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that starting tomorrow they will inject gas into the centrifuges in the nuclear reactor in Fordow, a reactor that Iran pledged to use strictly for research purposes. This is a serious violation of the nuclear agreement and in this field, alongside recent military operations, the Iranians are continuing to intensify their steps and, despite the severity of their violations, this step is still not thought of as one that immediately pushes forward Iran's military nuclear plan.

However, with the open operations carried out by Iran, in Israel there's no room for uncertainty, and therefore the Israeli security establishment is following the developments in the nuclear field in Iran very closely.

The premise required in such situations is that, even if at this stage intelligence information shows that Iran is rapidly progressing its military nuclear plan on the way to a nuclear bomb and a proven military capability, if there are visible things happening that Iran declares, there is a likelihood that there is progress and steps being taken by Iran in secret channels as well.

The exit by the United States from the nuclear deal and the fact that Iran's commitments to the other powers is also unraveling, obligate the IDF to already launch efforts and resources now and return it again to the discussion table. Points of view that call for the military capability of the State of Israel to act, in what is called a third circle, in a military capability are forced to harm Iran's nuclear program if such a need arises.

The nuclear agreement with its many limitations and the justified opposition to it in Israel, also provided important years in which the Iranian nuclear program was frozen. This allowed the IDF to divert resources to other challenges Israel has faced in recent years. Facing the recent developments, Israel will no longer take a chance and, at least at the level of preparedness and possible plans, the military option for third circle action against Iran is again on the table and is expected to be expressed in the IDF's multi-year programs as well.

However, this is a future scenario. The Iranians are still very far from obtaining military nuclear capabilities and so too, Israeli military action against Iranian nuclear facilities is still far.

At this stage, in the immediate time frame, the meaning of the step taken by Iran is at the level of a message to the west and European nations that they are ready to go far in their fight against sanctions. In parallel to the intensifying of the steps taken by them on the military level, as this is the situation, Israel sees an additional signal on the Iranian side that they will be ready to progress in additional, substantial steps, by the intensification of the military steps taken by them, and definitely by the attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, that happened with no response from the American side isn't the end of the line for them.

When this is the situation, Israel takes seriously that Iran will send its messages to the world through attempts to attack Israeli targets and therefore at this stage this subject stands at the head of all assessments of the security situation in Israel before any other threat.

Within this complexity, the IDF and especially the IAF continue to operate in what is called "the battle between wars," especially in order to attempt to stop Iran's entrenchment in the area and against the precision missile project shared by Iran and Hezbollah.

Recently, foreign media hasn't publicized mysterious attacks attributed to Israel in Syria, Iraq and other targets. This does not mean that Israel, due to the sensitivity and danger of regional conflagration, has stopped acting against these goals, but it one could guess that much thought is being put into reducing the signing of Israeli operations allegedly occurring in the area and maybe they're even being carried out in many diverse ways that allow all sides to retain ambiguity.

Also in Lebanon, even before the failed attempt to down the Israeli drone, the IAF, who didn't intend to stop its reconnaissance flights in the skies over Lebanon, acted to reduce friction and the risk of an Israeli aircraft being downed.

The threat made by Secretary General of the Hezbollah terror movement [Hassan] Nasrallah to act against every Israeli aircraft, was taken seriously here [in Israel] and therefore the necessary adjustments were made. The central purpose is to first secure aircraft so that they won't be hit or downed by Hezbollah, because even at a strategic level, the downing of an Israeli aircraft is expensive for intelligence and financial reasons even if  not manned by air crews, it would demand from Israel to respond militarily and from there the path to a military escalation is a short one.

In this subject the additional operations that can be assumed that the IAF will continue to carry out demand from the IDF today to be especially careful towards the various threats. The apparent recent quiet doesn't express the fact that the IDF stopped its operations outside the airspace of Israel and apparently they're just happening in a lower media profile and not by chance.


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