Israeli President: Deal or No Deal, Iran’s Nuclear Program Must Be ‘Neutralized’

Israel wants the US to abandon JCPOA negotiations

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said Wednesday that Iran’s nuclear program must be “neutralized” whether or not the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, is revived.

Speaking at a ceremony for Israeli Air Force pilots, Herzog claimed Iran was the top threat in the Middle East. “I am following the negotiations surrounding the nuclear deal, and I call on the international community not to be led astray and not to underestimate the gravity of the threat,” he said.

“The Iranian nuclear threat must be neutralized once and for all, with or without an agreement. Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons capabilities,” Herzog added.

Israel is accusing Iran of using the Vienna talks to buy time as it develops a bomb despite a lack of evidence that Tehran has decided to pursue nuclear weapons. The Israelis are urging the US to abandon the negotiations and increase the pressure on Iran through sanctions and potential military action.

Also on Wednesday, National Security advisor Jake Sullivan met with Herzog and other Israeli officials. According to a report from Axios, Sullivan reassured the Israelis that the US is willing to take a harder line against Iran if necessary, signaling that the Biden administration isn’t serious about giving Tehran sanctions relief.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.