January 20, 2012
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Thursday night, Jan. 19 that Iran had decided to become a nuclear state. He urged action before it was too late to stop Iran completing the construction of a nuclear weapon. His statement at the end of a visit to Holland gave Gen Martin Dempsey, on his first visit to Israel as Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the message he will be asked to take back to President Barack Obama. It also contradicted Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s statement that Tehran had not yet decided to go nuclear.
On Dec. 22, 2011, DEBKAfile first revealed Tehran had reached a decision to go ahead and build a nuclear weapon.
Netanyahu has kept the Iranian cards close to his chest. His statement therefore caught wrong-footed the Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who in the last 48 hours had asserted that Iran had not yet decided whether to build a nuclear bomb and there was still time for US-led sanctions to work.
DEBKAfile reported earlier Thursday:
Gen. Martin Dempsey begins his first visit to Israel as Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff amid a major falling-out between the two governments over the handling of Iran’s nuclear weapon potential. DEBKAfile’s military and Washington sources confirm that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands by the view that Iran is advancing its plans to build a nuclear bomb full speed ahead, undeterred even by the threat of harsher sanctions. Netanyahu therefore stands by his refusal of President Barack Obama’s demand for a commitment to abstain from a unilateral strike on Iran’s nuclear sites without prior notice to Washington.
This article was posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 at 4:26 am