The top Israeli general raised the prospect of “action” against Iran on Tuesday even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser played down any immediate threat posed by a new underground nuclear facility being dug by Tehran.
World powers’ efforts to negotiate new curbs to Iranian uranium enrichment and other projects with bomb-making potential have been fruitless so far, fanning long-bruited threats by Israel to resort to force if it deems diplomacy a dead end.
“Iran has advanced with uranium enrichment further than ever before … There are negative developments on the horizon that could bring about (military) action,” Lieutenant-General Herzi Halevi, chief of Israel’s armed forces, said in a speech.
He did not detail what those developments might be, nor what action might be taken and by whom.
“We have capabilities, and others also have capabilities,” Halevi told the Herzliya Conference, an international security forum, in an apparent allusion to Israel’s U.S. ally.
Experts are divided over whether the Israeli military has the clout to deal lasting damage to Iranian nuclear facilities that are distant, dispersed and defended. Iran denies seeking the bomb and has vowed devastating reprisals for any attack.