Speaking over the weekend during a visit to Italy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed Israel has no problems with Iran having a civilian nuclear program, and that the objections to the P5+1 nuclear deal are purely because of “military implications.”
This is paradoxical, of course, as Israeli intelligence has repeatedly affirmed that Iran only has a civilian nuclear program to begin with, and Netanyahu has been harping on about it as an “existential threat” to Israel for decades irrespective of that.
The attempt at splitting the difference appears to be a function of Netanyahu trying to appear less unreasonable during a visit to Europe, with his visits to the US much more belligerent about Iran in general, with little concern about the “why” of hostility toward Iran, something his party has long treated as an end unto itself.
Netanyahu went on, however, to complain that Iran’s civilian nuclear infrastructure is “completely unnecessary” and shouldn’t be allowed, going on to say that Iran’s ability to enrich its own uranium was “vital to manufacturing nuclear weapons.”
Despite Netanyahu claiming the deal allows Iran to “expand” its enrichment, it actually doesn’t, and indeed the whole reason Iran has insisted on having the ability to enrich fuel for its own nuclear facilities is because, amid intense Israeli and US pressure, Iran has often struggled to obtain the fuel from abroad.