JERUSALEM, Israel – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is considering plans to attack Iran’s nuclear program, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.
The leading Israeli newspaper said IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi had ordered the military to draw up three separate proposals to counter the Iranian nuclear threat. It indicated one of those proposals could be a military strike and would require a significant boost to the military’s budget.
Israeli military intelligence believes Iran could form a fully-operational nuclear site within a year, the paper reported.
Although Iran denies allegations it seeks to create a nuclear weapon, Defense Minister Benny Gantz argues Tehran’s actions say otherwise.
Iran has made progress in recent years in terms of research and development, both on enriched material and offensive capabilities, and has a regime that really wants to have nuclear weapons," Gantz told Israel Hayom.
"It is clear that Israel needs to have a military option on the table. It requires resources and investment, and I am working to make that happen."
Iran announced it resumed the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity, just a technical step away from the 90 percent purity needed for weapons-grade materials.
The United Nations atomic watchdog agency said Iran has also begun installing equipment to produce uranium metal. The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran claimed the move was made as part of its “declared aim to design an improved type of fuel.”
However, uranium metal can also be used for nuclear weapons.
The increased uranium enrichment and attempts to make uranium metal are both open violations of the Iranian nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed in 2015.
Tehran signed the controversial deal with Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia, and the United States in an effort to monitor and curb Iran's nuclear program. The Trump administration unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018, arguing it needed to be renegotiated.
The incoming Biden administration has indicated that it is willing to renegotiate or return to the deal so long as Iran agrees to certain conditions.
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