Over the years, Iran’s nuclear program had brought concern to the world let alone the United States and Israel. Israel is concerned that Iran could create nuclear warheads capable of hitting the country. The topic Iran and Israel became a major part of the 2008 United States Presidential Elections. It brought into question whether or not Iran could actually nuke Israel.
On top of that, Iran had not really been forthcoming with the details of its nuclear program. Plus, Iran does not recognize the state of Israel. In regards to being able to create nukes, it may not be the case. So far, a nuclear warhead needs highly enriched uranium.
So far, Dennis Blair and Lt. General Michael Maples, respectively the US National Intelligence Director and Defense Intelligence Agency Director, explain that it is not the case for Iran. They explain that they only have low-enriched uranium. Neither of them given any implications or indications that Iran plans to refine the uranium.
With that said, it contradicts what Israeli intelligence has said.
Perhaps that could cause somewhat of tensions between the United States and Israel. While they have the same information, both US and Israeli intelligence have come at two completely different conclusions.
Overall, it seems that Israel and the United States reached different conclusions. Perhaps a third or forth perspective is needed. One could ask these questions? What conclusion would Great Britain come to? What conclusion would France come to? What conclusion would the UN Security Council come to? What conclusion would the European Union come to? What conclusion would Russia come to?
So far, this information looks very contradictory. Recently, it was Admiral Mike Mullen the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Major General Amos Yadlin the top intelligence official in Israel saying that Iran is now capable of making weapons. However, Blair brushed off Yadlin’s comments as talking about a “worst-case scenario.”
One should also ask: How should this affect US-Russia relations?
Back in mid-November of 2008, it was revealed that Iran had successfully fired a new type of long range surface-to-surface missile. The missile runs on solid fuel instead of liquid fuel. Iran insists that it is for defensive purposes and not for offense. But, it can strike Israel and southeastern Europe.
This would also bring forth the subject of the United States missile shield in Eastern Europe. That has caused tensions between the United States and Europe. However, there may be a compromise in regards to the missile shield.
In regards to Israel, it has cautioned the United States in regards to talking with Iran. Again, it is convinced that Iran could make a nuclear bomb. On top of that, Yossi Melman, an intelligence correspondent said convincing Iran to step down from uranium enrichment is slim. Melman also made note to talk about the missile shield system in Eastern Europe.
However, there is another thing that needs to be factored in as well: Benjamin or “Binyamin” Netanyahu of the Likud Party. Netanyahu won the elections and will become Israel’s newest Prime Minister. So far, Netanyahu is trying to avoid a government that leans toward the right as he tries to get centrist support. However, the Kadima Party brushed away Natenyahu’s offer.
Once Netanyahu officially takes office as Israel’s PM, one can expect the topic of Iran’s nuclear program to pop up. What will the outcome be? We will have to wait to find out. The outcome could depend on what type of government Netanyahu ends up forming.