Former CIA, AMAN chiefs: Iran is a nuclear threshold state and can no longer be stopped

DEBKAfile — Dec 2, 2013

When Netanyahu appeared before the UN General Assembly last year he warned of the threat posed by Iran. Click to enlarge

The former heads of two of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world, speaking Sunday, Dec. 1, in different parts of the world, were of the same opinion: Iran has reached the point of a nuclear threshold state and can build several nuclear bombs in a matter of weeks. By this diagnosis, Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, and ex-general Amos Yadlin, ex-chief of AMAN, Israeli military intelligence indicted their respective governments of the US and Israeli for their failure to stop this happening.

Asked in a FoxNews interview in New York about the interim accord the six powers reached with Iran in Geneva, Gen. Hayden was terse: “Iran is a nuclear threshold nation and we can’t stop this,” he said. America has moved its red lines and “all but conceded Iran has the right to enrich uranium.” He went on to voice the hope that “We have hit the pause button. Now we’ve got to negotiate hitting the delete button.”

Yadlin, who heads a national security think tank, had this to say: “Iran is approaching breakout point to a nuclear bomb.” On the Geneva accord, he commented: “… this is only a first step, not a final agreement, although it contains elements which predetermine the final accord.”

Speaking in Tel Aviv, Yadlin said: “The fact that Iran is a nuclear threshold state is not the fault of this agreement. Iran spent many years developing this capability and no one managed to stop it. Iran is a step before breakout to a bomb.  This is unfortunate but true.”

It was the first time that a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence officer had admitted the responsibility of successive Israeli governments, defense ministers and heads of its various intelligence agencies for the failure to pre-empt Iran’s drive for a nuclear weapon.

MK Tzahi Hanegbi , a senior lawmaker who has the ear of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, expressed concern that the interim deal with Iran would be left standing as the final accord, and so leave the Islamic Republic in place as a nuclear threshold state with the capability to assemble a bomb within six to seven weeks.

In Rome, Netanyahu was heard to say for the umpteenth time that Israel would not allow Iran to attain a nuclear bomb. He seemed to have forgotten the diagram he exhibited to the UN General Assembly in September 2012 accompanied by a resounding pledge not to let Iran accumulate enough enriched uranium for a weapon.

Hanegbi, in his comments Sunday, put the record straight: Iran has built a uranium stockpile of 7.2 tons, enough for several bombs.”

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, after criticizing his successor for daring to argue with US President Obama, was of the opinion that Israel would not attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. He was saying that Israel has decided to accept a nuclear-armed Iran.

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