Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak says the efforts to block Iran from turning into a nuclear power are apparently headed for failure.

In an opinion piece published by the Time on Monday, Barak said the nuclear agreement – or the JCPOA – failed to delay Iran from having enough highly enriched uranium for nukes, and the 2018 US withdrawal from that same agreement allowed Iran to "legitimize” its progress toward "threshold nuclear" status. “In 2018 they were some 17 months away from that threshold. Today they are probably just 17 days away.” 

Echoing US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s remarks eight months ago that if an agreement is not achieved within weeks, it might not be worth signing, he said that “That’s even more true today” as Iran “kept enriching uranium and has turned from a country that Russia was assigned to monitor into a country supplying Russia with armed drones.”

Describing a new agreement as mainly aimed at keeping for appearances, he said such a deal provides “both sides a ‘denial umbrella’ for domestic needs — for the US, avoiding tougher realities and choices, and, for the Iranians, keeping sanctions at the lightest level possible.”

Noting that Iran will turn into a de-facto threshold nuclear state this summer, he said, “Both Israel and (for sure) the US can operate over the skies of Iran against this or that site or installation and destroy it. But once Iran is a de-facto threshold nuclear state this kind of attack simply cannot delay the Iranians from turning nuclear.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Tuesday that Israel has the ability to stop Iran’s nuclear development or merely delay it, noting, “Iran is a global problem. It is not just Israel’s private problem.”

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