A much publicised United Nations nuclear energy report to be published this week is expected to support suspicions Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.
The document, likely to be the clearest echo yet of US concerns over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will also identify a suspect site where warhead components are thought to have been tested.
The fall-out from the findings is likely to raise tensions in an already volatile region.
Israeli officials have described the report as the last chance for a peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis while it continues to prepare for possible pre-emptive strikes against Iranian targets.
Emily Landau, Israeli National Security Expert said:
“Even if it’s a very, very successful use of military force, perhaps the most that can be achieved is delaying the programme. And then the question is whether that delay is worth it in the light of some of the serious consequences that would come from an attack.”
While both the UK and the US are weighing up future military options Iran has already denounced the report as “counterfeit”.
However, Washington and London doubt the IAEA evidence will be enough to convince Russia and China to abandon their opposition to further economic sanctions, let alone countenance possible air strikes.