Israel’s military intelligence chiefs have said the biggest threat is still to the country’s northern border, with Iran up to two years away from being able to launch a nuclear weapon.
The assessment from the IDF’s Military Intelligence (MI) directorate highlights the transfer of Iranian ‘upgrade kits’ to proxies such as Hezbollah in Syria. The kits use GPS satellite tracking systems to turn standard rockets into deadly precision missiles.
Intelligence analysts say the assassination of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh – attributed to Israel – had been a significant setback to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme because of his vast knowledge. Israeli officials neither confirm nor deny involvement.
Iran is thought to have 1,300kg of uranium enriched to 4 percent and 17kg enriched to 20 percent. A bomb needs 40kg of uranium enriched at 90 percent. Although this would take just four months, Iran also needs a warhead capable of delivering it, which would take at least 21 months to build.
Elsewhere in the region, the IDF said economic circumstances of neighbouring states such as Lebanon and Syria greatly reduced the threat from state militaries, while Turkey’s tone had also notably softened of late. And, thanks to the recent injection of hundreds of millions of dollars from Qatar, the Gaza Strip was also enjoying a brief period of relative stability.
The greatest threat remained the battle-hardened Hezbollah, said the IDF, with Iran’s powerful proxy having recently developed a “shock unit” for limited offensives lasting 2-3 days, designed to inflict maximum damage on Israel without dragging the militia into another all-out war.
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