Although US officials do not believe Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb, Israel has gone into overdrive to convince the world that Iran is on the verge of acquiring a nuclear weapon and must have all its uranium enrichment activities stopped by all means possible, including the military option. Under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership, these efforts thus far have not garnered much support.
Israel’s rhetoric and threats aim to convince the United States to stop Iran’s uranium enrichment activities and place unrelenting economic, political, and, if necessary, military pressure on Iran. Yet, this is an unrealistic demand since Iran, as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has the legitimate right to enrichment. Moreover, the International Atomic Energy Agency has maintained that there is no evidence that Iran has diverted material for a nuclear weapon. That is why US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said last month that “it is not useful” to set deadlines or outline “red lines.” In response, Netanyahu blasted Washington’s position by saying, “The world tells Israel, ‘Wait. There’s still time,’ and I say: ‘Wait for what? Wait until when?’ Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.”