JERUSALEM - Israel's army intelligence says Iran will have enough enriched uranium to produce one nuclear bomb by the end of the year. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will not let Iran become a nuclear power.
Israeli military analysts say that by the end of 2020 Iran will have enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb. The assessment comes after recent tensions between the U.S. and Iran brought them to the brink of war. The United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, and Israeli intelligence officials speculated that Iran would resume its efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb.
Israeli army intelligence officials based their calculation on their assessment that it takes 40 kilograms of 90-percent enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb. Iran announced several months ago that it no longer considered itself bound by the nuclear deal and would step up enrichment efforts.
At the same time, the Israeli assessment found that Iran does not possess missiles that can carry a nuclear bomb and that as far as they know, Iran is not working on one.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a harsh warning to Iran.
He said that Israel knows exactly what is happening with the Iranian nuclear program and that Israel will not let Iran get a nuclear weapon. He also called on European states to impose new sanctions on Iran for breaching the nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, Syrian state television said that Israeli aircraft fired missiles at the T-4 base near Damascus. The report said that Syrian air defense brought down a number of missiles but that four hit the base, causing some damage but no casualties.
Israeli officials did not comment on the report. Syria has accused Israel of hitting this same base several times in recent months. Israeli military sources said that Iranian forces and allied Shiite militias used the base, and that Iran used the base to transport precision weapons to Iranian backed forces included Hezbollah in Lebanon.
i24news defense correspondent Adi Koplewitz says Iran is continuing its efforts to deliver weaponry despite the U.S. targeted killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani.
"The taking down of Soleimani doesn't prevent the Iranians from continuing to try to reinforce their forces all over the region including in Syria. We are already seeing reports that just two hours after the attack last night another Iranian cargo plane landed in the T-4 air base that it is very hard to prevent the Iranians from sending equipment or weaponry all over the region," he said..
In February of 2018, an Israeli F-16 was shot down during an attack on the T-4 base. It made it back to Israel before crashing.