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Israeli Hanegbi warns that Iran’s latest nuclear reactor is vulnerable to attacks


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The Israeli government’s national security adviser said on Tuesday that the new nuclear facility built by Iran is not safe from attack.

Tzachi Hanegbi made the comments in response to an Associated Press report that said the new facility appears to be 100 meters (328 feet) underground.

Hanegbi, speaking at a security conference near Tel Aviv, said he was not surprised by the report, noting that Iran has other underground facilities. While he acknowledged that the site would complicate any possible military strike on the facility, he said there were still solutions to the challenge.

“What can be said about this is that there is no place it cannot be reached,” he said.

He declined to say whether Israel had the capacity to do it on its own.

“We hope that we will not reach a situation where the solution to the story of a nuclear weapon in Iran is a kinetic solution, a solution that includes an attack,” he said, adding that Israel would prefer to see an international confrontation with Iran. Iran resolved through diplomacy.

Israel considers Iran its greatest enemy, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said repeatedly that he will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. He said international diplomacy must be accompanied by a serious military option and hinted that Israel would be ready to strike Iran itself if necessary.

Photos and videos of Iran’s new facility from Planet Labs PBC show that Iran is digging tunnels near the Natanz nuclear site, which has been subject to repeated sabotage attacks over the years. Excavated piles at the site indicate the facility could be between 80 meters (260 feet) and 100 meters (328 feet) underground, according to expert analysis and the AP.

The Islamic Republic denies it is seeking nuclear weapons.

With Iran now producing uranium near weapons levels after the collapse of its nuclear deal with world powers, the installation complicates efforts by the West to prevent Iran from developing an atomic bomb as diplomacy over its nuclear program continues to stall.

The construction comes five years after then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the nuclear deal. Since then, Iran has ramped up uranium enrichment beyond the limits of the agreement. Experts believe it is only a short step to the 90% enrichment threshold for weapons-grade uranium.

Enriching uranium is an essential component of producing a nuclear bomb. Israeli experts believe that Iran will need additional time, up to two years, to develop the means to launch and detonate a warhead.

Addressing the same conference, the commander of the Israeli army, Lieutenant-General Herzi Halevy, said that Israel is closely monitoring Iran’s nuclear program and confirmed that the army was ready to take action.

“There are potential negative developments on the horizon that could lead to action,” he said. “We have capabilities. Others have capabilities, and this is a very important and important issue.”

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