Israeli cabinet meeting with Avigdor Lieberman on the left. November 7, 2021

Israeli Minister Says Iran Will Get Nukes In Five Years, 'Tops'


Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said: "With or without an agreement, Iran will be a nuclear state and have a nuclear weapon within five years, tops."

Lieberman was speaking at a security conference on Tuesday where Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Iran is at the most advanced stage of acquiring nuclear weapons and Israel reserves the right to confront Tehran, with or without a nuclear agreement.

Israel, itself widely believed to have nuclear weapons, has long argued that the 2015 deal was too weak to prevent Iran from pursuing a bomb. Former US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, describing it as too soft, and Iran responded by violating some of the deal's restrictions. President Joe Biden's administration aims to revive it.

Israel has also complained that the nuclear agreement does nothing to rein in Iran's ballistic missile program, or hostile activity by Iranian-backed militia.

"The Iranians have encircled the State of Israel with missiles while they sit safely in Tehran," Bennett said. "To chase the terrorist du jour sent by the (Iranian covert) Qods Force does not pay off anymore. We must go for the dispatcher."

Speaking separately, the chief of Israel's air force offered cooperation with Gulf Arab partners against Iranian-made attack drones, a rare public airing of the possibility of joint operations.

Economics Daily

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