Middle East Monitor / March 27, 2021
A senior Israeli military official has declared on Friday that his country has the ability to “completely destroy Iran’s nuclear programme.”
Tal Kalman, head of the Strategic Division and the Third-Circle Directorate of the Israeli army, told Israel Today that 2020 was a “good” year concerning war against Iran.
Kalman added: “I do not want to call it a year of transformation, but it is a year of great change. It started with the assassination of Qasem Soleimani and continued with a series of events that I cannot comment on most of the time, which made the balance positive, and very positive.”
He explained that Tel Aviv deals with Iran through four axes, the first of which is the extremist regime, adding: “As long as it controls Iran, Israel faces a very big challenge.”
The Israeli official noted that the second axis is the “nuclear programme“, the third is Iran’s large military capabilities, while the fourth component is Iran’s “pursuit to achieve regional positioning and influence.”
“The challenge posed by these issues to Israel is unprecedented,” Kalman noted.
On the nature of the conflict with Iran, he remarked: “It is a long-term strategic competition that requires us to think differently as we face the threat from a country on our borders.”
He pointed out that Israel had been hoping for the collapse of the Iranian regime under the impact of the sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump.
“The Iranian regime is interested in nuclear weapons first and foremost as an insurance policy for its stability, but for Israel, this is an existential issue. The Middle East will enter a nuclear arms race, as other countries may join Iran and seek to develop nuclear capabilities,” according to Kalman.
He added: “I believe that a large part of the countries around us will seek to acquire nuclear capabilities, certainly the ones that have the economic capacity.”
Kalman considered that Israel had so far succeeded in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Regarding the economic sanctions imposed on the Iranian regime, the occupation commander affirmed: “The Iranian people are paying a very high price for the regime’s interest in developing the nuclear programme, but I really believe that this is not a problem for Israel only, but for the entire international community.”