Netanyahu: Intelligence is “Not Foolproof,” Cannot Depend on Mossad & CIA Knowing When Iran Starts Building a Nuclear Bomb

Today, Thursday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu almost mockingly disputed the contention — he means the U.S. claim — that intelligence agencies will surely notice when Iran starts using its enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb.

That missive, apparently aimed at President Barack Obama, was part of Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

He had declared in dramatic terms — before leaving Jerusalem on Wednesday night — that the speech would be very important, setting out the need for the “red lines” that the Obama Administration refuses to set.

Washington officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have said that setting “red lines” or “deadlines” for Iran to stop its uranium enrichment would not be helpful.

Holding up what to some seemed like a silly, oversimplistic graphic – or cartoon – of a bomb with a lit fuse to represent Iran’s alleged drive to build a nuclear bomb, Netanyahu used a red magic marker to draw a horizontal “red line.”  He said that Iran needs to be stopped before reaching that stage: before Iran has enriched enough weapons-grade uranium.

The graphic might seem risible, but it got Netanyahu the worldwide attention he wanted for his argument.

Click here to hear the 1-minute portion dealing with intelligence (meaning the CIA and Mossad) not being “foolproof” :   Netanyahu 27sept12 some claim intel

Click here to hear the entire 12-minute Iran-nuclear section of Netanyahu’s speech to the General Assembly: INetanyahu 27sept12 Iran nuke part of speech

And click here to hear his entire 31-minute speech: Netanyahu 27sept12 whole UN speech

Here’s the official text of the “intelligence” portion of Netanyahu’s speech:

Now there are some who claim that even if Iran completes the enrichment process — even if it crosses that red line that I just drew — our intelligence agencies will know when and where Iran will make the fuse, assemble the bomb, and prepare the warhead.  

Look, no one appreciates our intelligence agencies more than the Prime Minister of Israel. All these leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. They’ve foiled many attacks. They’ve saved many lives.

But they are not foolproof.

For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn’t know that Iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain.

Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half the size of Europe?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb.

The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.

I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.

This will give more time for sanctions and diplomacy to convince Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons program altogether.

Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained.  

I very much appreciate the President’s position as does everyone in my country. We share the goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel. It unites Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world.

What I have said today will help ensure that this common goal is achieved. 

Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.  

September 27, 2012

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