Israel May Launch Strike on Iran as Soon as Next Month to Prevent Development of Nuclear Weapons
Israel will launch military action to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon as soon as Christmas, intelligence chiefs have warned.
A report by a UN watchdog into Iran’s nuclear ambitions ‘completely discredits’ the Islamic nation’s protestations of innocence, according to Foreign Secretary William Hague.
The International Atomic Energy Agency found that Iran is developing a nuclear test facility, nuclear detonators and computer modelling for a nuclear warhead that would fit on an existing missile.
Sources say the understanding at the top of the British Government is that Israel will attempt to strike against the nuclear sites ‘sooner rather than later’ – with logistical support from the U.S.
A senior Foreign Office figure has revealed that ministers have been told to expect Israeli military action, adding: ‘We’re expecting something as early as Christmas, or very early in the new year.’
Officials believe President Barack Obama would have to support the Israelis or risk losing vital Jewish-American support in the next presidential election.
In recent weeks, Ministry of Defence sources confirmed that contingency plans have been drawn up in the event that the UK decided to support military action.
But the source ruled out direct British support, adding: ‘Of course we are not in favour of Iran developing a bomb – but do we think they’d use it: no.
‘The bigger concern is it will be impossible to stop Saudi Arabia and Turkey from developing their own weapons.’
Mr Hague said Britain would push for more sanctions against Tehran when the IAEA committee meets later this month.
Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, vowed not to retreat ‘one iota’ from its nuclear programme.
In a statement on Middle Eastern affairs, the Foreign Secretary was critical of Israel’s ‘occupation’ of Palestinian land.
But he announced Britain will abstain on a UN vote later this week to give statehood to Palestinians.
Source: Daily Mail