With the release of a new report implicating Iran in building a nuclear bomb, Israel is hoping the new evidence will generate a push in the international community to apply back-breaking sanctions that would halt Iranian nuclear goals.
Almost a week after the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report was released; Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to thwart “Iran’s race to arm itself with a nuclear weapon.”
Netanyahu held that there are two options to halting Iran’s program – crippling sanctions or credible military action.
Although it is well known that Israel perceives a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat, officials and experts warn that Israel must tread carefully on the Iranian nuclear issue and cannot be interpreted as leading the movement to stop Iran from pursuing uranium enrichment efforts.
The European Union has put on a united front in the face of Iranian nuclear ambitions, calling for the country to scrap its program or face tougher sanctions.
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for further international pressure and isolation towards Iran over its nuclear program.
Nevertheless, few countries have gone so far as Israel and threatened to take military action should Iran not dismantle its program.
Israeli President Shimon Peres has warned, "The possibility of a military attack against Iran is now closer to being applied than the application of a diplomatic option."
Furthermore, last week Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio that the small nuclear-armed country would not rule out carrying out preemptive strikes against its nuclear-ambitious foe.
Barak said that his country would continue to recommend that no option be "off the table" in dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue – so long as crippling sanctions do not exist or “aren’t proven to be effective.”
The Daily Mail has recently cited British Foreign Office sources as saying that the British government expects Israel to attack Iran "sooner rather than later."
Iran has always maintained that its nuclear program is for energy purposes, and not to build a bomb.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that there is no logic behind the IAEA accusations. He argued that the IAEA is “discrediting” itself by siding with claims stemming from the U.S. that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.