Iran Closes Nuclear Facilities Over Fears They Could Be Targeted In Strike

The Islamic Republic of Iran temporarily closed its nuclear facilities this week over “security considerations” that they could be targeted by Israel in an airstrike in retaliation for Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone barrage.

“We are always concerned about this possibility,” said International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi at a U.N. Security Council meeting. “What I can tell you is that our inspectors in Iran were informed by the Iranian government that [Sunday], all the nuclear facilities that we are inspecting every day would remain closed on security considerations.”

Grossi kept inspectors back on Monday over fears that Israel could hit the facilities after Iran launched combined more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel over the weekend — the first time the country has ever directly attacked Israel.

Several foreign policy and military experts urged Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear program following the attack, arguing that the window was closing for them to do so.

“Most importantly, I think Israel should be looking at this as an opportunity to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which is the existential threat that Israel faces,” said former Trump national security adviser John Bolton.

Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-partisan institution focusing on national security and foreign policy; Brigadier General (Res.) Professor Jacob Nagel, senior fellow at FDD and a former top Israeli official, said in an article that Israel “must now shift to neutralizing Iran’s nuclear scientists and their ability to build an actual weapon.”

“After this weekend, the threat of a nuclear weapon being deployed from inside Iran toward Israel is a step closer to reality,” they added.

Other experts believe that an attack could actually strengthen Iran’s resolve to build nuclear weapons and lead to “Iran’s decision to break out.”

Experts also believe that the longer that Israel takes to respond to the attacks, the less likely their response is to be significant in scale and impact.

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