Report: Israelis in Iran Hunting Nukes

An Israeli special operations team is working undercover in Iran, according to a report Sunday in a British newspaper.

Hana Levi Julian , | updated: 12:44 AM

The soldiers are on a mission to prevent the Iranians from succeeding in their bid to develop a nuclear weapon. They are involved in locating uranium enrichment facilities in Iran, according to the British Sunday Times, and are currently based in neighboring northern Iraq.

The United States is supporting the move, says the paper.

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made an oblique reference to the operation on Sunday in his video address to the annual AIPAC conference in the U.S. He warned that Israel would not be able to stop the Iranians on its own, adding his hope that the international community, led by the U.S., would impose sanctions on Iran. He said the country is a threat to the modern world.

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz also spoke on Sunday about the issue. He said that Iran poses a major threat to Israel, and that the verbal hostility coming out of Tehran is something that needs to be closely monitored.

He added that Iran’s nuclear program is “a substantial and existential threat to the State of Israel”. He also warned campaigning parties and politicians not to manipulate Israel’s security situation for the election, saying the situation is a very serious matter.

The Bush administration, meanwhile, is placing more pressure on the United Nations as it becomes increasingly concerned with its delay in dealing with the matter. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton said bluntly, “The longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses, the harder and more intractable it will become to solve.”

Iran threatened Sunday to resume its large-scale uranium enrichment if the matter is referred to the UN Security Council. The International Atomic Energy Agency was to meet on Monday to decide whether to refer the issue of Iran’s nuclear development program to the Council.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi criticized the U.S. for what he called a "double standard" in its dealings over nuclear development, citing a recent deal with India as proof. “The United States’ approach is a form of double standards,” he charged at a news conference. “It signed a contract with a country that was not a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That is objectionable,” he complained.