Former Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense Mission to Europe believes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is employing needless fearmongering when it comes to Iran’s atomic aspirations, in order to further his own political aims.
In an interview with the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Brig. Gen. Uzi Eilam and director general of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission said “The Iranian nuclear program will only be operational in another 10 years,” adding “Even so, I am not sure that Iran wants the bomb.”
“The statements and threats made regarding an attack on Iran did not help,” Eilam says. “We cannot lead the charge on this front. As far as the project goes, Iran's nuclear facilities are scattered and buried under tons of earth, concrete and steel. This would require more than one strike, such as on the nuclear reactors in Iraq and Syria. A strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would in effect be the opening salvo in all-out war.”
Being well-informed on Israel’s nuclear program, and has been closely following that of Iran, Eilam is convinced that the road to an Iranian nuclear weapon is still a very long one.
“From being involved in many technology projects, I have learned the hard way that things take time,” he says. “Netanyahu and other politicians have struck terrible, unnecessary fear into the hearts of the Israeli public, and thankfully the flames fanned over the issue seemed to have died down for now.”
Pursuing an Iranophobia policy, Israeli Prime Minister is a staunch opponent of the Iran nuclear deal. In late November, 2013, he criticized the deal as a “historic mistake”. Earlier in 2012, Netanyahu warned that Iran was 6 to seven months from nuclear bomb capability.
Moreover, the Israeli PM has repeatedly bluffed on “launching a preemptive attack” on Iran. Despite the talks between Iran and the West, Haaretz reported earlier in March that Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have ordered the army to continue preparing for “a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities” this year.
Brig.-Gen. Eilam disagrees. He believes bombing Iran has no benefit for Israel and it just “unite the Iranian people behind its government.”
“Netanyahu is using the Iranian threat to achieve a variety of political objectives,” he said. “These declarations are unnecessarily scaring Israel's citizens, given Israel is not party to the negotiations to determine whether Iran will or will not dismantle its nuclear program.”