Israeli officials expressed strong opposition to the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday and stepped up threats against the Islamic Republic as the US is preparing to resume indirect negotiations with Tehran aimed at reviving the accord.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel “fell asleep” after the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, was signed in 2015. He warned Israel would maintain the right to take “action” against Iran if the JCPOA is revived.
“The mistake we made after the first nuclear deal in 2015 will not repeat itself,” Bennett told a conference at Israel’s Reichman University. “From the moment the deal was signed, it affected us like a sleeping pill. Israel simply fell asleep on duty … We will learn from this mistake. We will maintain our freedom of action.”
Speaking at the same conference, Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman made similar threats, warning Israel might have to take action without the support of its allies. “We must make a decision alone,” Liberman said.
The US and Iran are resuming negotiations on November 29th. The last time the two nations started JCPOA talks back in April, Israel carried out a covert attack against Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, a clear attempt to sabotage the diplomacy.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported that US officials warned their Israeli counterparts that covert attacks against Iran’s nuclear facility are “counterproductive” since they have resulted in more uranium enrichment and more advanced centrifuged. But the report said Israeli officials disagreed and said they have no intention of “letting up.”
Bennett said Tuesday that he expects there will be “disagreement with our greatest of friends” over how to handle Iran.
Another speaker at Tuesday’s conference was Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who claimed Iran attempted to transport explosives to Palestinians in the West Bank via drone from a base in Syria in 2018. Like most Israeli accusations against Iran, it’s not clear if this claim is true.
Exposing the absurdity of Israel’s rhetoric against the Islamic Republic, Gantz also accused Iran of seeking world domination. “Iran’s method is simple: First we take Damascus, then we take Berlin,” he said.