Despite saber-rattling from Jerusalem, Israeli officials now agree with the US assessment that Tehran has not yet decided on the actual construction of a nuclear bomb, according to senior Israeli government and defense figures.
Even so, there is great concern in Israel about leaving Iran “on the cusp” of a bomb explaining why Israel continues to hint at a military attack on Iran’s nuclear installations before it moves enough of them underground to protect them from Israel’s bombs.
Israel’s leaders have been charging in no uncertain terms for years that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Though officials say they accept the more nuanced American view, they warn that it is just a matter of semantics, because an Iran on the verge of being able to build a bomb would still be a danger.
The United States is playing up its assessment that Iran has not made its final decision in a public campaign to persuade Israel to call off any attack plan and allow the increasingly harsh sanctions against Iran time to persuade Tehran to back down.
‘Happy New Year’
Israel’s President has sent Iranians his greeting for the Persian new year, wishing for “peace and coexistence” despite tensions over their country’s nuclear programme. Shimon Peres also urged Iranian leaders not to threaten anyone or make their “children flee home”.