There is no reason for Israel to undertake a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities at this time, Gabi Ashkenazi, who recently retired as IDF chief of staff, said in a lecture yesterday.
Ashkenazi is the most recent in a chorus of former defence and security officials who have said that a military strike on Iran’s nuclear programme is not needed at this time.
“This threat that emerges in the east, and all the darkening on that horizon – we aren’t there yet,” he said, in a video recording obtained by Channel 2 News. “Anyone who thinks that there’ll be an Iranian nuclear weapon when we wake up tomorrow morning – well, we aren’t there yet.”
Rather than a military strike at this stage, Ashkenazi said, Israel should maintain a multi-pronged strategic approach — “a covert campaign” to thwart the Iranian nuclear drive; “diplomatic, political and economic sanctions; and a credible, realistic military threat.”
“We have to hope that this combination will keep Iran from going for the bomb,” he added.
Ashkenazi, in the same speech yesterday, also said Israel’s strategic situation would improve with the fall of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Even if Assad was replaced “by a Sunni regime,” he said, ultimately Assad’s departure would “improve our situation.”
The former chief of staff also stated that Israel was “not on the brink of war” with Egypt.