Israel and the U.S. Must Not Lose Sight of the Dangers of a Nuclear Iran

December 21, 2023 | Eran Lerman
About the author: Eran Lerman is vice-president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies and teaches Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Shalem College.

Near the end of last month, representatives from Germany, Britain, and France presented the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with evidence of the Islamic Republic’s progress toward building nuclear weapons. Many experts believe that the ayatollahs, if they so desired, could produce enough highly enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb in a week, and enough for twelve in five months. To Eran Lerman, a nuclear Iran is a greater threat to Israeli security than Iran-backed militias in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen:

Under these circumstances it is incumbent upon the Israeli leadership, as well as the intelligence community and the relevant parts of the defense and foreign-policy establishment, to ring the alarm bells and refocus attention (internally, in terms of tasks and resources, and internationally) on the challenge posed by the Iranian nuclear project.

Israel’s leadership must engage once again in generating the necessary legitimacy for action against Iran’s nuclear project—preferably [without direct military action], but violently if necessary. This can be done in conjunction with other concerned nations, but alone if necessary. The current level of readiness facing Hizballah in the north, and the growing signs of Lebanese reluctance to be drawn into an all-out destructive war, create a window of opportunity for such action in the coming weeks and months.

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