'Distant Future': Head of Israeli Military Intel Notes Iran Won't Have Nuclear Bomb Anytime Soon
02:37 GMT 03.10.2021 (Updated: 10:09 GMT 07.12.2022)
Iran has consistently underscored that it has no intention of building a nuclear weapon or an arsenal of such magnitude. At one point, the country's top leadership emphasised that nuclear arms are contrary to the tenets of Islam.
A top Israeli military intelligence official has publicly announced that Tehran is nowhere near reaching the enriched uranium levels that would allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon.
Maj. Gen. Tamir Hayman, who serves as the head of Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate, remarked during a recent interview with the Walla News service that, while Iran has attained a "disturbing" amount of enriched uranium, Israel's long-time enemy is not at a place where it could create a nuclear bomb.
"There is an enriched amount [of uranium] in volumes that we have not seen before and it is disturbing", Haymen is quoted as saying to the outlet, The Jerusalem Post reported. "At the same time, in all other aspects of the Iranian nuclear project, we see no progress - not in the weapons project, in the financial area, not in any other sector".
"Therefore the period of time that still remains of two years has not changed. Because even from the moment you have a breakout, there is still a long way to go before a bomb", he continued.
"To the best of our knowledge, the directive has not changed and they are not heading toward a breakout. They are not heading toward a bomb right now: It may be in the distant future".
The official suggested that Iran has three nuclear options: resume compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; push for an improved agreement; or, simply put, go for an "unprecedented defiance" that would include the continued enrichment of uranium and the development of weapons.
"Let's just agree with the fact that the right thing to do is to take Iran in the direction we want on the side of diplomacy: an attempt at a better agreement", the Israeli official suggested.
While Hayman claims that Iran could have nuclear weapons "in the distant future", Tehran has repeatedly stated that it has no intention of creating nuclear weapons. Past leadership in the nation indicated that such stockpiles are not in line with Iranian law.
Hayman's claims fall in line with Israel's unsubstantiated narrative that Iran is preparing its nuclear arsenal, with Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz recently stating
during an interview that Israel's regional neighbour was just a few months away from being able to produce a nuclear bomb.
Iran's purported stockpile of enriched uranium has stolen headlines for the last several years, since the US under former President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reimposed sanctions that were previously lifted by the Obama-era agreement. Since that time, Iran has also stepped away from the deal's limitations.
Although efforts have been made by Washington and Tehran to revive the JCPOA, including the failed Vienna discussions, a new push has emerged from the Biden administration and from newly-elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Recently, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian revealed
that renewed talks could soon take place.