According to a report from Israeli TV, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has requested a major budget increase worth billions of shekels to prepare for potential attacks against Iran.
Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reported on Wednesday that the request was made during preliminary meetings on the budget Israel’s new government under Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to pass in the coming months.
The report said the discussions over the increased IDF budget took place to prepare for the possibility that the indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the nuclear deal would fall apart. This infers that Israel is worried the JCPOA won’t be restored, but the Israelis have been doing everything they can to sabotage the talks.
When the talks first started in April, Israel carried out a covert attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, a clear effort to sabotage the diplomacy between the US and Iran. The Natanz attack led Iran to enrich some uranium up to 60 percent, which Israel now cites as evidence that Iran is racing to develop a bomb.
Israeli officials have also made veiled threats that Israel would attack Iran if the JCPOA was revived. They claim the agreement is a path to a nuclear-armed Iran because it eventually expires. But that ignores the fact that after the JCPOA, Tehran would still be bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel refuses to sign due to its covert nuclear weapons program.
On Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel needs to expand its “force build-up” over the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons. He also said the Israeli government should allow the country’s armed forces to “maintain military superiority, which ensures our secure existence and advances peace,” which Israeli media interpreted as a reference to reports that the IDF wants more money to attack Iran.