OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin warned Tuesday thatIran has not yet been deterred on its march to the nuclear bomb, whileadding that Turkey is drawing closer to the side of Islamic radicalsand away from Israel and the west.
Iran, said Yadlin, was responsible for the failure of talksregarding its nuclear program. As a result, the international communityis preparing to place sanctions on Teheran. But, Yadlin said, "as longas Iran is not under heavy international pressure, Teheran iscontinuing to advance with its nuclear program."
"The Iranian technological clock on the way to the nuclearprogram is continuing to tick at a rate of a number of kilograms [ofenriched uranium] every day," he cautioned, reiterating assessmentsmade by intelligence community members in the previous year that Iranis enriching uranium at a low level, and is "continuing to advance thenuclear program on a wide track. They are also advancing on themilitary track, but that is being done secretly."
Israel has no indications in the field that Iran has attemptedto build additional nuclear facilities to speed up enrichment, butrather developing more technologically-advanced centrifuges to put intheir existing facilities. The more advanced centrifuges, said Yadlin,would accomplish the same purpose as building additional facilities.
Although he did not mention the recent incident involvingDeputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and the Turkish ambassador, Yadlinsaid that "beyond the specific tension, one must understand that thedistancing between the two countries is more significant and is relatedto strategic topics and shared interests."
"In the past, Turkey had ambitions of becoming closer to thewest, beyond it's acceptance into NATO," detailed Yadlin. "They wantedto be part of the European market, and they thought that relations withIsrael would help them advance in the American market. But then theyreceived a cold shoulder from the Europeans and did not achieve whatthey wanted. In light of that, they changed their policies and arecurrently drawing away from secularism and going in a more radicaldirection. There are still joined strategic interests shared by Turkeyand Israel, but it is not the same strategic proximity that they onceshared."
Israel and Turkey have also parted ways, he said, regardingtheir shared neighbor, Syria. In the nineties, Yadlin explained, Turkeysaw Syria as an enemy state, a position shared by Israel. But in theensuing years, Ankara-Damascus relations have warmed, and the twocountries have since settled the key disagreements between them.
Yadlin also referred to the situation on Israel's northernborder, arguing that Hezbollah recognizes that war with Israel does notenjoy popular support today in the Lebanese street, but is trying tocarry out a high-profile assassination in reprisal for the death of topoperative Imad Mourghniyeh. Hezbollah, which Yadlin described as"Iran's spearhead in south Lebanon", is different in this regard fromother key international terror networks, such as al-Qaida and IslamicJihad, which are focusing their energy on attacks that would result inmass death of Israeli targets.