JERUSALEM – Despite President Obama’s cautious optimism about resolving the Iranian nuclear issue diplomatically, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday reportedly handed the president a top-secret intelligence dossier allegedly showing that Iran might have already crossed the nuclear threshold.
According to the Sunday Times of London and Maariv, Iranian nuclear scientists have already processed enough low-grade uranium to create at least one atomic weapon and are working on the warhead’s detonator and ballistic delivery systems at two sites. Iran’s ballistic missile factories have reportedly assembled more than a dozen advanced Shahab-3 missiles that the Iranians claim can reach all of Israel and Europe. Last month the IDF announced that it had successfully conducted tests of a new advanced version of the Green Pine radar system, meant to detect long-range ballistic missiles and activate Israel’s Arrow-3 anti-ballistic missile. The Arrow-3 is designed to shoot down missiles such as the Shahab-3.
Israeli and Western intelligence sources have said that Iran’s current low-grade uranium material could also be used to construct a crude “dirty nuke” that could be transported in a boat or aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps tried to penetrate Israeli security by planting a spy posing as a Belgian businessman in Tel Aviv. Earlier this week the Shin Bet identified the Iranian-born arrested spy as Ali Mansouri, 55, who traveled on a Belgian passport using the name Alex Mans. He reportedly told Israeli authorities he was recruited, for pay, by Iranian intelligence.
Israeli intelligence believes there are other Iranian- and Hizbullah-trained spies posing as tourists and businessmen who are laying the groundwork for terrorist attacks in Israel. Several Israeli media outlets report that the Shin Bet and Israel Police have either arrested or are tracking other potential would-be spies and informants who are working for Hizbullah or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards inside Israel.
The Israeli military believes the Revolutionary Guards and Hizbullah will attempt to attack Israel in the near future using upgraded UAV/aerial drones. During the past two weeks, the Israel Air Force has scrambled fighters across Central Israel after radar stations picked up “strange sightings.” The IAF has not publicly commented about the growing number of these types of incidents.
In a commentary, popular Israeli pundit Shalom Yerushalmi said, “It is no coincidence that the Prime Minister’s Office decided to publish the [spy] affair on the eve of Netanyahu’s meeting with the U.S. president, including the photographs the spy took of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. The Americans should put one and one together. On the one hand the Iranians are smiling at them, and on the other they are planning to blow up their embassy. And if Obama does not get the hint, then the members of Congress – who would be the ones to lift the sanctions off Iran – will.”Steve K. Walz
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