The Iranian nuclear threat is dangerous, but let’s not get hysterical over it, President Shimon Peres said Tuesday.
Speaking at a conference of Israeli ambassadors in Jerusalem, he said, "Israel has real or perceived capabilities which contribute to our deterrence, like Dimona. We have no interest in turning Iran into an Israeli monopoly” because it is a threat to the entire world.
The President added, “We can leave this for our friend, the United States."
He also said that Israel’s policy of “nuclear ambiguity,” whereby it does not confirm or deny nuclear capability, serves as a deterrent to Iran, which can only imagine what weapons Israel possesses.
Most reports by foreign observers estimate that Israel may have approximately 200 nuclear warheads and presumably the capability to launch them.
The Islamic Republic repeatedly has stated the past year that Israel would be annihilated if it were to try to attack its nuclear facilities. Earlier this week, an Iranian official said an Israeli attack would be tantamount to suicide.
Iran’s capability also is a shrouded in mystery. Its refusal to allow international inspectors into its nuclear facilities leaves a lot of room for guessing.
Most experts and leaders, ranging from Defense Minister Ehud Barak to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, estimate that Iran is a year or less away from producing a nuclear bomb or warhead. However, it is assumed that Iran is further away from being able to produce a missile that can deliver the weapon.
Several mysterious explosions, including one recently at a missile base, are thought to have slowed down its missile development.