Senior Israeli Minister Threatens Strikes On Iranian Nuclear Facilities
Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz threatened to unleash the military on Iran if the mullahs continue pursuing their nuclear program. The comments came after Iranian atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi announced the completion of a new facility at the Natanz nuclear plant capable of producing advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges. In a veiled threat to Israel, Salehi also warned of a “harsh” response to the potential targeting of Iranian nuclear scientists, a slew of whom were assassinated in 2010 in operations attributed to the Mossad. The reach of Israel’s spy agencies was made apparent in April when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu unveiled tens of thousands of atomic arms-related documents and files stolen by Israeli operatives from a secret archive in Tehran. The revelation raised already heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and Jewish state, with the nations engaging this year in multiple direct military confrontations along the joint Israel-Syrian border. The Israeli army has, for its part, struck more than 200 Iranian assets inside Syria in order to prevent Tehran from establishing a permanent foothold in the country. Iran’s economy currently is feeling the squeeze from renewed American sanctions that took effect last month, with another hard-hitting batch covering its crucial energy and shipping sectors set to be imposed in November. The financial penalties followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear pact, which other world powers are nevertheless trying to salvage. Salehi reiterated that if the deal falls apart Tehran will react by increasing its atomic activities.