Iran could develop a nuclear bomb within two years and Hezbollah will not seek an all-out war, the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate said in its annual threats-assessment report for 2021, which was made public on Tuesday.

The Military Intelligence Directorate (MID) report, which focuses on the security challenges Israel can expect to face over the next 12 months, estimated that the Islamic republic can enrich enough uranium required to make one bomb, if it decides to do so, within four months.

The Islamic republic currently has 1,300 kilograms of uranium, enriched at a level of 4% and 17kilos enriched at 20%. In order to manufacture one bomb, Iran will need 40 kilos of uranium enriched at 90%. To reach this level of enrichment, as stated, would take Iran about four months.

The report indicated that the Iranians have not pressed on with the nuclear project since the assassination of key nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which was attributed to Israel, as they have not found a replacement for him yet.

Tehran, however, was breaching clauses stipulated in the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

In addition, MID estimated that Iran-backed Hezbollah and other terrorist groups will likely initiate more “limited offensives” against Israel over the coming year, which would force Israel to either minimize or stop its alleged attacks in Syria. The offensive would have to be carried out without harm being done to Israeli civilians, which would cause the IDF to expand the conflict to a wider scale.

The intelligence analysis said Hezbollah has a trained “shock” unit, which it will utilize for a limited offensive lasting two to three days without being dragged into an all-out war.

Currently, the IDF believes Hezbollah possesses an arsenal of several dozen precision-guided missiles, rather than hundreds that have been reported in some cases. For now, the IDF believes it still has an edge over Hezbollah on this front.

Meanwhile, despite an initial interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Israel’s enemies, most of which are suffering from severe economic, social and public health crises, have barely diverted any of their efforts from rearmament and force build-up. This applies to Iran and its proxies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In general, the IDF believes that its campaign against Iranian entrenchment in Syria – or the so-called war between wars – has successfully countered Iran’s goal of establishing a significant military presence in Syria, but has not prevented the regime in Tehran from pressing on with those efforts anyway.

The IDF believes that due to its successes against Iran in Syria, the Islamic republic has pivoted toward enhancing its already robust military presence in Iraq and Yemen, from which its proxies could launch attacks on Israel using long-range missiles or armed attack drones. These more advanced and more powerful weapons are easier to smuggle into Iraq and Yemen than Syria or Lebanon, but the farther range also gives Israel more time to defend itself against these types of attacks.

In the case of a drone attack from Yemen, for instance, MID estimates the IDF would have roughly six-hours to see the attack coming and counter it.

The report also said that Syrian President Bashar Assad will look to improve relations with his neighbors and attempt to return to the Arab League, as well as rebuild his army, in particular the air-defense divisions. Large swaths of Syria, mainly in the north, will continue to remain under Kurdish or Turkish control. Assad still is reluctant to act against Iran’s continued entrenchment in his country and is unlikely to change his mind in the coming future.

On the Palestinian front, although Hamas is seeking a long-term cease-fire arrangement with Israel, the current quiet on the Gaza border is very fragile.

The Military Intelligence Directorate also doubts the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections the Palestinian Authority plans to hold in May and July respectively will be successful.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad, according to MID, will continue solidifying their power in Gaza, with an emphasis on their rocket arsenals, while trying to silence those calling for attacking Israel.

Regarding the new administration in Washington, the Military Intelligence Directorate estimates that it will be far more involved globally than its predecessor, which could provide some advantages for Israel.

Source » israelhayom