Daily Israel Report

Iran Attack "Not on the Table"

"Senior military source" contradicts claims by PM Netanyahu that all options are still on the table
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 7/15/2013, 8:41 AM

Israeli F-16
Israeli F-16
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The option of an Israeli military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is essentially off the agenda, according to a senior diplomatic source cited Monday by the Ma'ariv daily. 

According to the source, Israel's military and political leadership is not determined enough to lead such a bold move. He added that the defense establishment has not proposed viable plans that would enable military containment of Iran's nuclear development program.

The report comes less than a day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel might have to act against Iran before the United States does, noting that the Islamic Republic could "jump" the red line of having a nuclear weapon in a matter of weeks.

In an interview with CBS News's "Face the Nation." Netanyahu claimed that Iran was "edging up to the red line. They haven't crossed it yet [but] [t]hey're getting closer and closer to the bomb. And they have to be told in no uncertain terms that that will not be allowed to happen."

Netanyahu also claimed that Israel's timetable to act on Iranian proliferation was narrower than that Washington's, implying it may have to take unilateral action to halt Iran's controversial nuclear program.

"Our clocks are ticking at a different pace. We're closer than the United States. We're more vulnerable. And therefore, we'll have to address this question of how to stop Iran, perhaps before the United States does," he said.

He went on to dismiss the idea that Iranian President-elect, Hassan Rouhani, was more "moderate" than his predecessor, claiming his veneer of moderation was just that:

"He's criticizing his predecessor (President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) for being a wolfin wolf's clothing. His strategy is be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Smile and build a bomb," Netanyahu said.

He urged the United States to make clear to Rouhani that it will not allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon, and that military force "is truly on the table."