'We are heading toward a collision course by the end of the year': Iran will be capable of making a nuclear weapon in two months, warns Israeli intelligence official

Officials believe Tehran is pressing ahead with enriching sufficient uranium to make a weapon

Jerusalem

A senior Israeli intelligence official has warned that the Jewish state has just two months “to sleep soundly” before Iran is capable of making a nuclear weapon and that the two countries are heading towards aggression before the end of the year.

Speaking at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, said that Iranian scientists are close to crossing the ‘red line’ that was outlined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined in a speech at the United Nations last September. During that speech, Mr Netanyahu drew a line with a red pen on a picture of a cartoon-like bomb, at which point he said that Iran would be 90 per cent ready to produce a bomb.

Mr Yadlin’s warning comes just a day after Israel and the United States agreed a $10 billion (£6.5 billion) arms deal that will see cutting edge American technology sold to the Israeli army. Mr Yadlin’s comments publicly affirm the opinion of many Israeli officials, who in private argue that talks aimed persuaded Tehran to give up its ambition nuclear weapons are wasted time, and that Iran is pressing ahead with enriching sufficient uranium to make a weapon.

Israeli officials believe that rather than seven-year old talks between the UN Security Council’s five permanent members, and Germany (known as the P5+1), and Iranian officials, which are approaching their 10th round, are set to fail and that, in the words of Mr Yadlin, “we are heading toward a collision course by the end of the year”.

Rather, Israel believes that only the outcome of Iran’s presidential elections, set to be held in two months’ time, will determine whether Iran decides to take the final steps towards making the bomb. Tehran insists that its nuclear ambitions are for purely for peaceful means.

Israel would rather the Americans, or better still a multi-lateral force, carried out any military action, but according to Mr Yadlin, “Israel will, in fact, be the first to have to reach a decision. It is not party to the negotiations.  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.”

The comments come after the first visit to Israel by Chuck Hagel, the new US defence secretary. Despite the increased bellicosity in Israel, the P5+1 and unilaterally, the Americans, have constantly favoured a negotiated settlement. Having only recently extracted itself from a decade-long commitment in Iraq, Washington is loth to involve itself in another Middle Eastern military adventure.

However, the Americans and other countries have insisted military action remains a possibility. While John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, has said he does not believe Tehran’s assertions over its nuclear programme, he is reluctant to impose fresh sanctions and believes negotiations ought to be given more time to produce results.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk