Although the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William Burns, said on Monday Washington did not have enough evidence that Iran decided to weaponize its nuclear program, the US and Israel have started making preparations for the worst-case scenario in the Middle East.
According to sources close to the White House, defense chiefs of the two countries will soon discuss conducting joint military drills as a part of their preparation. Sources also said that the global community would have no other option but to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities, if they failed to resolve the issue through diplomacy.
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz arrived in Washington to discuss the 'Iran issue' with the top US officials. On October 25, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan briefed the Pentagon officials about military options against Iran in order to stop the West Asian nation from producing nuclear weapons. A senior Pentagon official, who wished to remain anonymous, stressed that Tehran should use the nuclear technology only for peaceful purposes.
Experts are of the opinion that the US-Israeli preparations indicate that US President Joe Biden believes that West might fail to revive nuclear talks with Iran because of a tough stance taken by the new hard line government in Tehran. According to the US defense experts, Iran is taking time for advancing its nuclear program. The US official said: "We're in this pickle because Iran's nuclear program is advancing to a point beyond which it has any conventional rationale." Interestingly, neither the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, nor Iran's mission to the UN have made any comments on the issue.
In Vienna, the European Union officials are all set to resume talks on Iran nuclear deal with the US special envoy on Thursday, with Iran joining them over the weekend. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently said that the concerned authorities in Iran had started enriching uranium to up to 20% purity with one cascade of 166 advanced IR-6 machines at Fordow Plant.
It may be noted that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal helped Tehran escape global sanctions. Six years ago, the world powers had asked Tehran to restrict the limit of its uranium enrichment activities, extending the time it would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. Majority of nuclear experts have opined that the period is considerably shorter, and the world powers should give more time to Iran.
However, the US and Israel have made it clear that they do not trust the Iranian leadership.