Israel’s governments have long opposed a nuclear deal with Iran, though Prime Minister Naftali Bennett initially sounded more optimistic about the possibility. The latest reports, however, reveal the mood has not really changed regarding the nation’s attitude toward Iran’s plans.
The initial international plan with Iran in 2015 led to little change regarding Iran’s steady progress toward producing weapons grade plutonium. UN inspectors were repeatedly blocked from visits to sites, while more centrifuges were steadily added to boost production.
In 2018, former US president Donald Trump pulled America out of the Iranian deal. His successor, President Joe Biden, has showed interest in renewing talks, though he has assured Bennett the US remains steadfast with Israel to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon.
A recent communication from the Biden administration discouraged Israel from acting independently against Iran’s nuclear targets. The message claimed that such acts are counterproductive and only encourage Iran to speed up its nuke program.
As expected, the new communication led to Israel’s leadership once again affirming the nation’s right to defend itself. Just to make things perfectly clear, Bennett was noted in the report stating, “Israel is of course not a party to the deal and Israel is not obligated by the deal.”
The words echo those of past leaders, such as former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During his 12 years in office, he held discussions with both the Obama and Trump administrations, affirming Israel’s right to conduct military and intelligence operations as needed against Iran.
So far, such actions have remained largely covert. However, it may come as no surprise if Israel’s leaders choose at some point – say, on the threshold of going nuclear — to take strategic countermeasures against Iran, especially when other nations have been largely unwilling to use force or even exert strong sanctions to limit its nuclear development.
The diplomatic discussions to stop Iran’s nuclear plans will continue, but Israel believes the efforts are doomed to fail, and is preparing to take drastic options in the ongoing struggle to protect the nation.