London: A top Israeli minister has said that Iran has drawn back from its ambition to build a nuclear weapon, but added that the respite is only temporary.
An immediate crisis was avoided in earlier this year when Iran quietly chose to use over a third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes, delaying the moment when it could have built a nuclear bomb.
Without this decision, Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, said the situation would “probably” have peaked before the US presidential election.
“In the event, Iran delayed the “moment of truth” by “eight to 10 months”, Barak said during an interview with the Telegraph.
As for why Iran had drawn back, the minister said that ‘there could be at least three explanations.’
“One is the public discourse about a possible Israeli or American operation deterred them from trying to come closer. It could probably be a diplomatic gambit that they have launched in order to avoid this issue culminating before the American election, just to gain some time,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
“It could be a way of telling the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] ``oh we comply with our commitments’,” Barak added.
According to the report, he, however, predicted that sanctions against Iran and diplomacy would still fail to resolve the stand-off.
If so, he said that Israel and its allies would probably face the decision over whether to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2013.
According to the paper, Barak stressed that Israel reserved the right to act alone, and stated bluntly that any “operation against Iran” would be less dangerous “now” than when the country had crossed the nuclear threshold.