Dr Mike Evans

Israel prepared to face Iran alone if necessary, Lapid says

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid once again stated on Monday that the nation is prepared to face Iran alone, as world powers gather to discuss a restart of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The six nations of the original agreement — the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China, plus Germany — gathered in Vienna after a series of preparations to address renewed diplomatic efforts to counter Iran’s ongoing race to produce a nuclear weapon. The 2015 plan ended in 2018 after then-US president Donald Trump removed the nation from the plan, citing Iran’s repeated violations.

Since President Joe Biden’s entry into office in 2021, the administration has signaled a strong willingness to return to negotiations. In August, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met in Washington with Biden and both recommitted to keeping Iran from ever developing a nuke.

Lapid has expressed concerns that Iran continues to move forward with its nuclear program as diplomatic discussions dragged on, leading Israel to be prepared for all options in responding to Iran’s plans.

“A good agreement is good. We oppose any agreement that does not allow for real oversight — neither of the Iranian nuclear program, nor of the Iranian money, nor of the Iranian terrorist network,” Lapid told the press.

The addition of “Iranian terrorist network” addresses the growing concern at Iran’s proxy groups that target Israel – Hezbollah from the north, Hamas from the south. In May, the Gaza War included more than 4,000 Hamas rockets fired at Israeli civilians, supported by Iran as part of its declared objective of destroying Israel.

Syria has also been an area of concern regarding chemical weapons, as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon to Israel’s north. The combination of threats has been of concern not only to Israel, but also to other powers in the Middle East, in part driving some of the recent unity seen in the Abraham Accords.

Iran has become an issue for a number of nations, including the UAE and Bahrain, the two original nations that joined Israel in the Accords. Regardless of current efforts, Israel remains vigilant regarding any needed response to Iran, whether it garners support from other nations or must act on its own.