Yadlin conference 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
NEW YORK – The question of whether it is more dangerous to allow Iran to go
nuclear or to launch a preventative military strike is the question of the day,
former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told attendees at the 2013
Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York on Sunday.
panned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s insistence on putting down red lines
for action on the Iranian issue, said more time must be granted for diplomacy
and for sanctions to be imposed efficiently – with the only really effective
sanctions having come into effect last year – before military action is
It is not yet the right time for military action, Yadlin
said, adding that in addition to diplomacy and economic measures, “we must give
more time for the other strategies that nobody takes credit for,” an apparent
reference to such clandestine modes of attack as assassinations and computer
Yadlin, who now directs the Institute for National Security
Studies at Tel Aviv University, said, however, that if “worse comes to worse and
all other options are exhausted [and are] not stopping Iran, the consequences of
stopping them” will be less than those of allowing Tehran to go
However, he said, the timing of any attack must be calibrated to
make sure that Israel doesn’t “pay both prices,” that of the losses incurred in
a military strike and a failure to prevent an Iranian nuclear
Israel, he said, must “be very careful,” but “it’s possible” to
carry off a successful attack.
We are a “very strong country and we can
cope with the consequences” of a military strike,” he added.
that Israel could handle “the day after” such a strike, Yadlin added that the
Jewish state requires the international community and “especially the United
States for the decade after,” because they are necessary to prevent Iran from
acquiring the bomb in the years after an Israeli strike.
“Of course,” he
said, “we can only delay them. Anyone who attacks can only delay them for five
Yadlin also called setting red lines “problematic,” saying “we
should avoid them.” He expressed his belief that by announcing red lines, Israel
is providing its enemies with the “possibility to maneuver” around
them.Speaking at a conference sponsored by the INSS last week, Yadlin
that “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.”
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.
Iran is on the way to crossing the line of Netanyahu, that doesn’t mean that
they have the bomb,” he told The Jerusalem Post
on Sunday by way of
clarification of his previous statements. “The bomb is 90 percent enriched
uranium, Netanyahu puts the red line at 20%.”
“It will be much easier and
quicker for them to reach 90%, because they have not – as previously thought –
diverted their 20% enriched uranium to fuel rods that cannot be used for a
bomb,” Yadlin said. “Instead, they have made them into oxidized uranium in
powder form that can be reconstituted and shifted back to the military nuclear
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.