Michael Wilner — Jerusalem Post Oct 13, 2013
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is not bluffing” on his intentions to strike Iran, should the Islamic Republic continue its nuclear program for much longer, a former senior Israeli military official told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
“Bibi’s not bluffing,” said the retired senior official, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “He thinks it’s the 1930s. The Iranians are the Germans, and history has a sense of humor with six million Jews now in Israel.”
Since the UN General Assembly last month, Netanyahu has assured journalists in the United States that he supports President Barack Obama’s diplomatic overtures to Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, while also calling him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” not to be trusted.
Western powers suspect Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, as it continues to enrich uranium well beyond the grade required for any civilian nuclear use.
The former senior official told the Post that Israeli intelligence assesses Saudi Arabia would not wait “a minute” after Iran acquires a nuclear weapon to build or buy one themselves, risking a nuclear arms race in the world’s least stable region.
“The Saudis have the missile technology already,” he said. “I’d be surprised if they don’t just take warheads from the Pakistanis. They’ve already paid for them.”
Emphasizing the importance of existing sanctions, the official said Iran would try to get the financial pressures lifted with as few concessions as possible.
While generally supportive of the prime minister’s policy, he said that the leadership of Israel’s intelligence community has repeatedly warned Netanyahu against striking and said that the tone of his speech to the UN last month was “a mistake.”
“He’s not the commander-in-chief,” he added. “But he can achieve consensus. And it can be done without leaks – it can be done.”