JERUSALEM — With Chuck Hagel scheduled to begin his first visit to Israel as secretary of defense on Sunday, Israeli defense and military officials issued explicit warnings this week that Israel was prepared and had the capability to carry out a lone military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also spoke of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat in an interview with the BBC broadcast on Thursday. Israel has “different vulnerabilities and different capabilities” from the United States, he said. “We have to make our own calculations, when we lose the capacity to defend ourselves by ourselves.”
Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of strategic and intelligence affairs and international relations, said in an interview that Iran was abusing the diplomatic process to further its uranium enrichment program and that it was “high time” for the international community to issue Iran “a deadline or a timetable, or even a military threat.”
Though Mr. Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have continuously emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself by its own means, talk of possible action has been rare in recent months. Israel, during this time, has sought to lower tensions with the United States over Israel’s calls for red lines and in the face of vehement American opposition to an uncoordinated Israeli strike.
Full article: Officials in Israel Stress Readiness for a Lone Strike on Iran (NY Times)