/ July 30, 2021
Israel has warned the United States that Iran is near the point of having the operational capacity to build a nuclear weapon.
The message was conveyed in several conversations of senior Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, with their American counterparts, Kan 11 News reported on July 25.
The report cited a senior diplomat as saying: "Something needs to happen regarding the negotiations with Iran. This ‘limbo’ cannot continue a time when Iran is advancing rapidly to the point where it is a threshold state.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has acknowledged that Iran is accelerating its actions on the nuclear issue.
Iran has made significant progress in high levels of uranium enrichment, uranium metal production and in operating advanced centrifuges and poses a very serious threat to Israel, Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, the head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), told President Isaac Herzog on July 27.
Iran also has a greater capability to strike directly into the heart of Israel due to the political, economic and social collapse of Lebanon, and ongoing divisions in Syria, Trajtenberg noted.
Hizbullah has also been conserving its strength for possible conflict with Israel, he said.
Trajtenberg, accompanied by a team of researchers, was presenting the annual INSS report on the main challenges confronting Israel, along with recommendations for strategic positions that Israel should take in relation to these challenges.
Israel must understand that so long as President Bashar Assad remains in power in Syria, there is no hope of Iran leaving this part of the region, Herzog was informed.
Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018. But the Islamic Republic has been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.
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