Israel warns US: ‘Something needs to happen’ about Iran

“This limbo cannot continue,” said a senior diplomat regarding the Iranian threat. 

By Meira Svirsky, World Israel News

Israel warned the United States that Iran is on the verge of passing the nuclear threshold, meaning it will have the capacity to have operational nuclear weapons.

The warning was conveyed by Israel Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and other senior officials to high-level American officials in a number of conversations, Israel’s Kan News reported.

“Something needs to happen regarding the negotiations with Iran,” a senior diplomat said speaking to Kan. “This ‘limbo’ cannot continue a time when Iran is advancing rapidly to the point where it is a threshold state.”

Iran and the U.S. have been engaged in indirect negotiations since April, with President Joe Biden seeking to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear agreement that Iran signed with the world powers in 2015. In 2018, president Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from that agreement.

Tehran recently suspended those talks in Vienna pending the swearing in of a new government headed by hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.

Raisi was a member of the country’s “death commission” in 1988. Known as the “Hangman of Tehran,” he is said to have been involved in the secret execution of thousands of political prisoners at that time.

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In direct defiance of the JCPOA, Iran has significantly ramped up its enrichment of uranium over the last year. Last month, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, confirmed the increased uranium enrichment.

The confirmation follows an Iranian threat in May to ignore the restrictions on under the agreement and enrich at a rate of 20 percent.

In a recent visit to Israel, former IAEA deputy director general Olli Heinonen, who headed of IAEA’s inspection department for the last 10 years, said that he believes that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to build nuclear weapons in six to eight months,

Heinonen explained that his calculation was based on Iran’s increased enrichment capacity compared to its capabilities when it signed the JCPOA in 2015 and the progress Iran has made in the development of nuclear explosive devices.

Iran’s nuclear weapons program was uncovered in 2018 when Israel smuggled a warehouse full of documents out of Tehran.