The United States agreed to sell Israel $10 Billion worth of American military equipment for a future war with Iran.
Israel’s newspaper ‘Haaretz’ reported that Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former director of Military Intelligence said “We are headed toward a collision course by the end of this year” in reference to Iran’s alleged nuclear program.
Yadlin is head of Israel’s influential Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) located at Tel Aviv University. In the report titled ‘Israel’s former MI chief: Iran will cross nuclear ‘red line’ by summer’, Yadlin referred to Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu’s “red line” he drew at the United Nations demonstrating how close Iran is to a nuclear bomb.
Yadlin was quoted as saying: “Israel will, in fact, be the first to have to reach a decision. It is not party to the negotiations [between Iran and the world powers]. At the Iranians’ current rate of production, even to those who today are saying they won’t cross the red line – there is no doubt that by the summer they will cross it” according to the report.
BBC also reported that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said “The bottom line is that Iran is a threat, a real threat” during his first visit to Israel this past Sunday. Hagel is following President Obama’s commitment to Israel’s defense capabilities with the sale of KC-135 aerial refueling tankers, anti-air defense missiles and tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey troop transport planes.
Last month during his first visit to Israel, Obama said
“I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and to speak directly to the people of Israel and to your neighbors.” The deal also includes 25 F-16 Fighting Falcon jets to the United Arab Emirates, another US “Client” state. Hagel said “Iran presents a threat in its nuclear programme and Israel will make the decisions that Israel must make to protect itself and defend itself.”
Hagel’s statement allows Israel to make the decision to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if it feels threatened. New economic sanctions through a draft Senate legislation is expected to pass both houses of congress with President Obama’s signature by the end of this month. The Guardian also reported last Sunday that Hagel believes that sanctions on Iran can still work:
But Hagel added the United States and other countries believe there is still time for diplomacy and tough international sanctions to have an impact.
“The military option is one option that remains on the table, must remain on the table,” he said. “But military options, I think most of us feel, should be the last option.”
A new set of economic sanctions will be imposed in the near future although new talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are scheduled for May 21st which will be held in Vienna, Austria.