Natanz nuclear facility in Iran
Natanz nuclear facility in IranReuters

Despite Iran's increase in the pace at which they enrich uranium, top IDF officials believe Israel has enough time to prepare for the option of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities if one becomes necessary, Israel Hayom reported.

According to the report, the belief stems from a change in Israel's position: In the past, Israel defined its red line as a situation in which Iran has enough sufficiently-enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb. Now, Israel has adopted the US interpretation, which sets the red line as progress in the development of the other ingredients necessary for developing a nuclear bomb, including the explosive device itself, and, obviously, the necessary ballistic missiles.

Even though Iran has significantly increased the rate at which it increases uranium, as far as is known, it has hardly made progress in anything regarding the construction of the bomb itself and its mechanism, or in the development of the ballistic missiles intended to carry the bombs. It is estimated that these processes will take Iran at least 1.5-2 years, giving Israel a window of opportunity to prepare a strike.

Israel hopes that now that the US will understand that diplomacy will lead nowhere and instead turn to alternatives, including harsh sanctions, a believable military threat, and deepening Iran's diplomatic isolation.

Israel also estimates that the more Iran provokes the US and makes reaching a deal more difficult, the more likely the US administration is to seriously weigh a military solution. At the same time, Israel has observed that both Russia and China are beginning to lose patience with Iran's stubbornness, and hopes that the international pressure will do the trick.