Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Iran must not achieve nuclear capability, as local media reports in the Jewish State suggest that Tehran are stepping up their warhead work.
These reports are fuelling Israeli debate over whether to go to war, as Israel regards a nuclear-enabled Iran as a completely unfeasible proposition.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
"But all the threats aimed today against the Israeli home front are dwarfed in the face of another threat, different in its scale, different in its essence. Therefore, I have repeated, and I repeat, that Iran must not get nuclear weaponry."
Front-page reports in Haaretz newspaper, a frequent Netanyahu critic, and in the conservative, pro-government Israel Hayom could intensify Israeli debate about whether and when to take military action against Iran. Despite Iran’s position being that its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, Israel would regard such a move as pre-empting what they view as malign intentions from Tehran.
Israeli Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkovitz:
"Quite clear, Iran is very close to nuclear weapons and this is consistent with what I've said for a long time that those sanctions that are being operated against Iran won't really help."
The Finance Minister meanwhile reflected on the nature of the openness of the debate about Iran and Israel’s plans to attack.
Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz:
"It is a debate that might damage the country's security and I think that one day we will have to check ourselves and see how we deteriorated to such a situation in which there's a public media debate so exposed, so reckless on such a sensitive issue."
If Israel attacks Iran, it would defy appeals by US President Barack Obama, who is seeking re-election in November, to allow more time for international diplomacy. However, Israel believes that any damage done to its relationship with the US would be rectifiable.
On the streets, opinion on the subject is mixed.
Jerusalem resident Erez Goldman:
"I'm confused. Everyone is talking what's gonna happen if we will attack Iran but nobody is discussing and talking what would happen if we would not attack Iran. What will be the consequences if we are not gonna attack? How are we gonna live in a Middle East and live in a world that one of the largest islamic extreme government is gonna have control over atomic bomb."
Jerusalem resident Rakefet Ben Neriya:
"We have to really really really be careful and try everything but not going into action that will lead to nobody knows where but it can be really catastrophic event for the whole world."
One thing is for sure, for now, the issue of whether or not to go to war, and how to debate it, looks set to keep escalating.