Israel Approves $1.5 Billion for Plan to Strike Iran’s Nuclear Program
Israel has approved a budget of 5 billion shekels, or $1.5 billion, to prepare a plan that would give its military the capacity for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear program. The budget, which includes funds for drones, aircraft, satellites and special hardware, such as so-called bunker-busting bombs, was first reported by Israel’s Channel 12 on Monday. According to the report, 3 billion shekels will come from this year’s national budget, and 2 billion shekels will come from next year’s budget, which must be passed by November 14; if it is not passed the government will be automatically dissolved and new elections called. Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said at the beginning of the year that Israel’s military had prepared new plans for a military strike on Iran, and noted in August that the plans had been accelerated. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the UN General Assembly in an address last month that “we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said earlier this week on state television that Iran is serious about resuming negotiations to reinstate its nuclear agreement with the world powers in Vienna though he did not specify when this would occur.