Israel, Ma'arivBy Sari Makover-Belikov
The Iran issue has become part of Israeli's agenda intentionally, and this is very bad. They create a sense that the threat is critical, immediate.
Translated by Viktoria Lymar
Edited by Steven Stenzler
25 May 2013
Shaul Mofaz shares his take on the Iranian issue, among other things, in a longer interview to Ma’ariv. An excerpt.
- - - - -
What can we expect from Iran’s side?
"The strategic decision of the Iranian leadership is to be part of the exclusive nuclear club. The citizens want that, too, but are not willing for the matter to be managed in the hands of the ayatollahs. The Iranian nuclear project is advancing in two directions: one is through the uranium enrichment process and the other one – is through mounting the bomb on the missile warhead by special technology. The uranium enrichment stands today at about 20 percent. The centrifuges are partially located in protected places, and they need about a year to reach a military nuclear capability . But the decision to proceed to the final phase is to be made by Khamenei. [We] should keep tabs on him and see whether he will progress towards completion of the bomb and its installation on the missile warhead, or postpone the critical stage."
"It needs to be remembered that this year, there are elections in Iran, that the world is involved more than ever in the Syria-Iran axis, and that the recent declarations of the Americans and the Western countries against Iran's nuclear capability have strengthened a lot. Till today, the greatest achievement that delayed the Iranians has been the clandestine campaign conducted against it by the world – largely, America, the West and to a certain extent, Israel. This is a secret campaign not to be talked about. Alongside it, there are diplomatic efforts that have failed and harsh sanctions that hurt the Iranian economy but the Russians and the Chinese are not party to them."
Is the military option on the agenda?
"The military option against Iran has a high coefficient of regional escalation. The more we are involved, the more it will increase the chance of a regional event. I think that the military move against Iran should be led by the United States. They are also preparing for that."
And what about Israel?
"Israel will have to act only if the time comes and the Western countries are not ready for this. Only when the sword is placed on the neck. In parallel, Israel must prep. Not threaten attack every morning, but build itself in a systematic way. The Iranian issue has become a part of Israel’s agenda premeditatedly, and this is very bad. [They] create a sense that the threat is critical, immediate. We’re talking a major threat, but it is not the critical threat. In my opinion, a binational state is a far more dangerous and central issue that will get resolved only if we stick to the vision of two states for two peoples."
- - - - -
Original Hebrew article: I'll Be Prime Minister -- Only a Matter of Time
Lt. General Shaul Mofaz is an Israeli politician. Born in Tehran in 1948, he immigrated to Israel at age 9, joined the Israel Defense Forces after high school, rapidly rose in military ranks (among other things, he attended the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico) and became the 16th IDF's Chief of the General Staff. Afterwards, he embarked on a political career; held posts of Minister of Defense, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transportation and Road Safety. Since March 2012, he served as leader of the opposition in the Knesset [Israeli parliament] until January 2013 general elections. During this time, however, there was a 70-day period from May to July 2012 in which he formed a unity government with the Netanyahu-led coalition, and served as Acting Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister and Minister without portfolio - until quitting the coalition following crisis over the new universal draft law, plus other issues. At the moment, as Chairman of the Kadima Party, he leads the smallest faction (2 seats) in the current Knesset.
Image credit: www.thecuttingedgenews.com