By David McKenzie and Kevin Flower reporting from Jerusalem
Amos Yadlin, the recently retired chief of of Israeli military intelligence, told CNN’s David McKenzie today that while newly announced sanctions against Iran were certainly welcome, the option of using force against the country’s nuclear program should not be taken off the table.
Yadlin sat down with CNN for a rare television interview today in Tel Aviv, the first with a foreign reporter since stepping down from his post as head of army intelligence.
"All strategies all options should be on the table simultaneously," Yadlin said.
"Including a strike against Iran?" asked McKenzie.
"If the Iranians will not see a credible action against their nuclear sites and their facilities, if they will not assess at the end of the day what President Obama has said that he will not let Iran be nuclear by all means, that all the options are on the table. This is very important," explained Yadlin.
President Obama and US military officials have long insisted all options are on the table, including military, but that diplomatic resolution is preferred.
But the former intelligence chief said that if other options don't stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb then the military option should be used. He told CNN that Israel has a shorter timeline to react to Iran than the United States does and American military officials have said they are not sure they would be given a heads up if Israel decides to act.
But Yadlin has no doubt Iran wants the weapons
"Strategically the Iranians have already decided that they want nuclear weapons," he said. But he added they haven't decided fully to go through with creating the weapons
"Tactically, the last mile to the nuclear weapon will be done when the Iranians will decide when the strategic conditions allows them to do it in the minimum risk. And this hasn't happened yet," Yadlin said.
Yadlin's assessment, based on the "number of centrifuges, with the number of kilograms of enriched uranium, it will take them between a year and a year and a half," to achieve the goal when if they decide to do it.
Iran’s nuclear program has redundancy and that the country had a variety of ways of getting to its end goal of developing a nuclear weapon, Yadlin said.