Israel’s view of Iran talks: “Worry about bad deal”

Status: 11/29/2021 5:00 a.m.

The Israeli government is concerned about the nuclear talks with Iran. She fears that a new version of the treaty could jeopardize the security interests of the Jewish state.

By Tim Assmann, ARD-Studio Tel Aviv

No, Vienna is not on Yair Lapid’s itinerary, but Israel’s Foreign Minister’s current diplomatic mission is about what’s happening in Vienna.

Tim Assmann
ARD-Studio Tel Aviv

Lapid left for London and Paris over the weekend. Great Britain and France are involved in the Vienna negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement, and Israel’s top diplomat wants to make his country’s concerns clear.

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett did just that, one day before the start of the round of negotiations. “Israel is very concerned about the willingness to lift sanctions and let billions of US dollars into Iran in exchange for insufficient nuclear restrictions. That is the message to the Americans and all other countries negotiating with Iran.”

“The Iranians surround Israel with missiles”

The government in Jerusalem fears that the US wants an agreement at any price and that in the end there could be an agreement in which the sanctions against Tehran are largely lifted and Iran stops enriching uranium.

That would be far too little for the Israeli leadership. Like his predecessor, Bemjamin Netanyahu, the new Prime Minister Bennett is convinced that Iran will never completely abandon possible ambitions to build nuclear weapons, but will only put them on hold. In addition, Israel does not consider limiting the agreement to the Iranian nuclear program to be sufficient.

Israel sees itself threatened by Iranian allies – like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Shiite militias in Syria and Palestinian extremists in the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Prime Minister Bennett described this threat a few days ago in a key security policy speech: “The Iranians are surrounding Israel with rockets while they are safe in Tehran. They are harassing us, draining us, exhausting us and not even having to leave their homes. They are bleeding us out without paying for it. ”

Is Israel being abandoned?

This threat to Israel from Iranian allies in its immediate neighborhood will not be diminished by a revival of the nuclear deal. There is even a risk that Israel will be left alone with this problem, believes Alon Pinkas, a former top Israeli diplomat and a specialist in relations with the United States.

“From that moment on, Israel will have to face the problem, which I think is bigger, namely all of Iran’s non-nuclear activity. This includes the support of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen Use of substitutes, “said Pinkas.

Go it alone possible

With a view to the Iranian nuclear program, Amos Gilad, long-time director in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, sees the policy of sanctions against Iran as a failure. He considers a credible military threat to be necessary. Gilad said on the Israeli broadcaster Kanal 11. “The previous strategy has actually failed, because the idea of ​​terminating the agreement and then breaking Iran with harsh sanctions has not worked. Instead, the Iranians have made progress. If there is no military attempt If there are Americans or others threatening the Iranians, they remain unimpressed. ”

In the past, Israel has repeatedly tried to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program and to throw it back. Naftali Bennett recently made it clear that his country will continue to act independently. “Even if there is a return to the agreement, Israel is not part of the agreement and is not bound by it.”

Bennett’s message: Israel remains open to going it alone against Iran.

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