By: Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a series of secret meetings with top military officials over preparations for a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, according to Israeli broadcaster Channel 12.
Netanyahu held at least five meetings with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, the heads of two of Israel’s intelligence services and other top officials to discuss striking Iran’s nuclear program, Channel 12 reported Wednesday, according to The Times of Israel. Officials concluded Israel could take unilateral action if necessary and conveyed the decision to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and French President Emmanuel Macron, the outlet said.
The Channel 12 report contained few additional details, according to TOI. However, it underscores Israel’s deepening concern about Iran’s nuclear program as years of diplomatic attempts to stem its growth have petered out.
“The only thing that has ever stopped rogue nations from developing nuclear weapons is a credible military threat or a credible military action,” Netanyahu told a national security conference on Tuesday, according to TOI. “A necessary condition and often a sufficient condition is credible military action.”
The prime minister pressured international allies, including the U.S., to fulfill pledges to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and warned against delayed action, TOI reported.
“The longer you wait, the harder that becomes. We’ve waited very long,” he added.
Gallant promised Tuesday the ministry would not allow Iran to cross a “red line” and enrich uranium to 90%, a threshold that would prove Iran has the capability to produce nuclear weapons, according to TOI. All options are on the table, he added.
Later on Wednesday, a rocket strike in Syria, attributed to Israel, targeted an installation where Iranian experts were working on drone and missile plans with their allies in the region, Reuters reported, citing a source close to the Syrian government.
The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has initiated talks with Iran on its nuclear buildup after finding that Tehran has enriched uranium to 84% purity, just shy of the level considered ideal for nuclear weapons building, Reuters reported Monday, citing two diplomats familiar with the developments.
“If confirmed, this would be an unprecedented and extremely grave development,” a senior diplomat from one of the three European countries that negotiated the now-defunct 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran told The Wall Street Journal.
Israel has mulled strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities under previous Netanyahu-led governments, TOI reported.
Iran blamed Israel for an explosion at its Natanz nuclear facility in 2021 that decommissioned thousands of centrifuge machines used to refine nuclear material, BBC reported.
The National Security Council did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.