Israel fears Iran will copy its policy of nuclear ambiguity

Defense official tells 'Post' Iran could continue on current course of enriching uranium without publicly making nuclear weapon.

October 3, 2011 01:17
2 minute read.
Iran's Ahmadinejad at Natanz nuclear facility

Iranian President Ahmadinejad at nuclear facility 311 (R). (photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

As Iran continues its development of a nuclear weapon, Israel is growing more concerned that the Islamic Republic will embrace a policy of ambiguity, similar to the policy upheld in Israel regarding its own alleged nuclear capabilities.

“The possibility that Iran would adopt such a policy is growing,” a senior government official involved in defense-related issues told The Jerusalem Post.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Analysis: Easing concerns and looking for assurances
Opinion: Dismantle the Iranian Auschwitz
Iran begins mass producing cruise missile for Navy

On Monday, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will arrive for talks with Defense Minister Ehud Barak that will focus on the Iranian nuclear challenge as well as US efforts to help Israel retain its qualitative military edge in the Middle East.

Panetta will be met by an honor guard at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv and will later in the day lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Panetta’s visit comes after a visit last week by Adm. James Stavridis, commander of the United States European Command (EUCOM).

Iran has mastered the fuel enrichment stage of its nuclear program and has proven its ability to enrich uranium to as high as 20 percent. General assessments are that if it so decides, it would take Iran just a number of months for it to enrich a sufficient quantity of uranium to over the 90% that would be required for one nuclear device.

Another alarming element for Israel is Iran’s announcement last month that it is moving a cascade of advanced centrifuges to the Fordo facility dug inside a mountain near Qom that Barak said in 2009 was immune to standard air strikes.

The current assessment in Israel is that Iran is working to accumulate a large quantity of low-enriched uranium that will enable it at a later stage to reprocess the material and enrich a larger quantity to higher levels and manufacture a number of nuclear devices.

“Iran very well could continue on its current course for a while, during which it continues to enrich uranium like it is today but without going to the breakout stage and publicly making a nuclear weapon,” the senior official said.

If that were to happen, the concern in Israel is that Iran would not immediately declare that it has developed a nuclear device – assuming that it did so without expelling international inspectors from Natanz – to avoid providing the world with the justification to either increase sanctions or to use military action to stop it.

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations