Israel has been suspected in the past of attacking Iranian nuclear sites – however, using more unconventional means than a missile or a bomb. According to several cybersecurity companies, the country released a so-called Stuxnet virus that damaged nuclear enrichment centrifuges in Iran. Tel Aviv has never confirmed these reports.More than half of Jewish Israelis believe that Tel Aviv should have launched a military attack against Iran when the Islamic Republic was in the “early stages” of developing its nuclear programme rather than finding a diplomatic solution, the Israel Democracy Institute reported citing results of a recent opinion poll. About 51 percent of Jewish Israelis supported a military hardline approach, whereas only 15 percent of Arab Israelis favoured it.At the same time, only 23.5 percent of the Jewish respondents and 46 percent of Arab interviewees supported a diplomatic approach to resolve a conflict between Tehran and Tel Aviv over the Iranian nuclear programme. A important portion of respondents in a poll, which has a maximum error margin of around 3.6 percent, said they did not know which option was better: some 25.5 percent of Jewish respondents and 39 percent of Arab interviewees in Israel struggled to choose between the two.
The poll comes as the new Israeli government continues its policy of strongly opposing Iran’s nuclear programme, citing the same fears as the government of Benjamin Netanyahu – that Tehran will acquire a nuclear weapon. Iran has been gradually increasing its uranium enrichment levels since 2019 far exceeding the 3 percent level which was the ceiling established under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015 (also known as JCPOA or Iran nuclear deal).
The Islamic Republic gradually backtracked on its commitments under the nuclear agreement after the US withdrew from it completely and slapped Tehran with hefty sanctions. Iran noted that it was ready to return to compliance, if the US dropped sanctions and returned to the agreement. The new Biden administration expressed interest in such a move, but so far the two countries haven’t been able to agree terms of returning to the JCPOA.