TEL AVIV – Mossad chief Yossi Cohen has called on the world to “act now” to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb, Israeli media reported Sunday.
“Today’s Iran is the North Korea of yesterday, and so we need to act now so that we don’t wake up to [an Iranian] bomb,” Channel 2 on Sunday cited Cohen as saying.
According to the report, Israeli security officials have warned against taking a hard line against Iran, fearing that Israel will make the same mistakes the U.S. did by entering Iraq in pursuit of WMDs in the 2000s.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the UN General Assembly in New York. Netanyahu said he will use the speech to warn against the growing Iranian military presence in Lebanon and Syria. According to Israeli sources, it will mark the first occasion the prime minister directly addresses Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
“Israel will not tolerate an Iranian military presence on our northern borders. An [Iranian] military presence endangers not just us, but also our Arab neighbors,” Netanyahu told reporters on Friday.
Last week, Netanyahu said the deal, signed under the Obama administration in 2015, should either be amended or scrapped entirely.
“Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it — or cancel it. This is Israel’s position,” he said.
On Sunday, Breitbart Jerusalem cited Channel 2 as saying that Netanyahu plans to present President Donald Trump with a detailed proposal outlining how “to cancel or at the very least introduce significant changes” to the deal.
Netanyahu denied a Reuters report citing U.S. officials close to the deal as saying that Israel and Saudi Arabia would not be in favor of scrapping the deal entirely and, despite reservations about Iran’s behavior, would prefer it remain intact.
Trump has said that he may make changes to the deal and has until October 15 to announce whether Iran has held up its end of the agreement.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Sunday that Tehran will respond to any “wrong move” by the U.S.
“The Iranian nation has stood firmly and any wrong move by the hegemonic system on the JCPOA would draw a reaction from the Islamic Republic,” he said, according to Iran’s Press TV.
He added on Twitter that the U.S. was the “great Satan” full of “viciousness.”
On Monday, Israeli media reported that government officials have accused the UN agency in charge of overseeing Iran’s compliance with the deal of failing to investigate or inspect new illegal sites that Tehran did not disclose under the terms of the deal.