Old news? The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday published a report stating that Iran is suspected of conducting secret experiments whose sole purpose is the development of nuclear arms, however Israeli experts claim the findings are not new.
"The findings published in the report were known to the intelligence communities for a long time, but the significance of the report is that for the first time an independent professional body gives it a seal of approval," explained Middle East expert Dr. Motti Keidar of Bar Ilan University.
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"For Israel, this means that it was right all along, and for the United States – it means they have to act more intently against Iran and not impose more useless sanctions," he said.
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According to Dr. Keidar, the nuclear program is Iran's "insurance policy," guaranteeing that the world would not intervene in their internal affairs.
"This kind of report can definitely deter them, as they are now exposed to an attack from the West," he said, adding that "on the other hand, when someone is pushed into a corner, they often act irrationally and might fan the flames even further."
IAEA Headquarters in Vienna (Photo: Reuters)
Prof. Eyal Zisser, dean of the Entin Faculty of Humanities in Tel Aviv University, also believes the report bears no new evidence, "but rather gives a seal of approval that Iran is heading toward a nuclear bomb."
Prof. Zisser noted that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been overlooked by the Iranian leaders, and might convince them that Washington "is willing to go all the way.
"At the end of the day, these are rational leaders, but their rationality and desire for security independence is what pushes them to develop nuclear weapons in the first place," he added.
Senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies Dr. Emily Landau believes that the ball is in the international community's court. "From the details leaked so far, there is nothing new, and what was published was already mentioned in past reports.
Answering to those who doubt the report's credibility, Dr. Landau said: "This is not an American intelligence report; it is compiled from the intelligence of at least 10 countries; therefore it's hard to push it aside."
Dr. Landau believes the report's ramifications are more political in nature, adding that "what remains to be seen is how the international community responds and what message it gives Tehran."
Yoav Zitun contributed to this report
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