Dramatic Days in Mideast: Iran Advancing to Nuclear Bomb?

Iran threat alarms Israel (Archive: iStock.com/Vchal)

The nuclear threat is reemerging as a top priority for Israel as Iran takes alarming steps to advance a weapons program. With war still raging, Israel is rushing to refocus on the Iranian nuclear project while getting the US onboard for action against Tehran.

Israel fears that Iran will break out toward nuclear weapons while the US is preoccupied with the presidential election campaign. Tehran may also calculate that the ongoing conflicts in Gaza and Lebanon are diverting attention away from its nuclear moves.

Atomic watchdog IAEA warned that Iran is dramatically accelerating uranium enrichment by installing advanced centrifuges at Fordow. Tehran’s enrichment capacity is expected to increase by over 300%, allowing it to produce enough material for five atomic bombs within a month, according to a recent report.

New intelligence points to Iranian activities in recent months to shorten the time needed to build a nuclear bomb, Walla News reported. Dozens of scientists in Iran are said to be working on aspects of weaponization, including computer modelling related to nuclear devices.

Due to the escalating threat, PM Netanyahu re-established working groups of Israeli defense officials, intel officers and diplomats to focus on the Iranian nuclear project, the report said.

In parallel, the Israeli Air Force in recent weeks conducted several extensive training exercises simulating long-distance strikes on remote targets, potentially in preparation for military action against Iran.

The Israeli drills included long-range flights, midair refueling & strike operations, Israel Hayom reports. Notably, the Air Force created an Iran department during the current war, amid intel assessments indicating alarming Iranian progress toward nuclear weapons capabilities.

Mossad vs. Iran

Israel is seeking American help in stopping Tehran’s nuclear drive. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is visiting Washington this week and warned that “time is running out” to block Iran’s nuclear path.

Gallant urged the US to honor American pledges to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons. He emphasized that the US and Israel must join forces to neutralize the “greatest threat” to the future of the world and the Middle East.

Former national security advisor Jacob Nagel called for a new US-Israeli paradigm to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Instead of prioritizing uranium enrichment, Israel must shift its focus to Iranian weaponization while taking steps to weaken the regime, he wrote.  

Israeli and US intel agencies should prioritize efforts to monitor Iran’s weaponization program, Nagel said. As part of this process, they should identify key assets and personnel involved in the Iranian project and build strike capabilities, he added.

Behind the scenes, Mossad continues to keep an eye on Iran’s nuclear program. An Israeli team led by Mossad is dedicated specifically to weaponization activities, Walla News said. As the threat level rises, Israel may reactivate its covert action networks inside Iran and intensify operations to disrupt Tehran’s nuclear progress.