Iran could enrich enough uranium for a nuclear bomb in the next 4 months, the report said, but producing an actual bomb would take longer.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A new report by the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate revealed that security officials believe Iran is still some two years away from obtaining a nuclear bomb and that Hezbollah is hesitant to engage in an all-out war with the Jewish state.
The threat assessment report for 2021, which was made public on Tuesday, is focused on the possible security risks and regional dangers that Israel could face in the next year.
While the report found that by continuing enrichment efforts at its current rate, Iran could enrich enough uranium for a nuclear bomb in just four months, the fastest Iran could actually obtain a functional nuclear bomb would be in around two years.
This estimate is longer than that recently given by U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, who warned that Iran could be well on their way to having a bomb “in weeks” if the Islamic republic does not return to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020 has put the nuclear development project on hold, the Israeli report said, and no progress has been made since his death.
But, the report added, Iran is still flagrantly violating many of the terms of the nuclear deal.
Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi recently warned via state-owned media that if the West did not reduce sanctions on Iran, the country would be forced to press ahead with its nuclear program.
“If a cat is cornered, it may show a kind of behavior that a free cat would not,” Alavi said to Iranian media. “Our nuclear program is peaceful and the fatwa by the supreme leader has forbidden nuclear weapons, but if they push Iran in that direction, then it wouldn’t be Iran’s fault but those who pushed it.”
The report added that despite frequent public threats from Hezbollah, the terrorist group is reluctant to enter a high-stakes conflict with Israel.
Israel can expect “limited offensives” from the Iran-backed group, which would likely be focused on deterring Israeli military actions in Syria.
Such an offensive would need to be carefully executed to avoid any harm to Israeli civilians, the report said, in order to avoid serious retaliation from Israel.
Hezbollah currently possesses just a few dozen precision-guided missiles — not the full scale arsenal that intelligence sources had previously suspected, the report said.