Israel’s defense minister on Tuesday decried the interim deal reached by world powers with Iran in November and rejected the linkage between Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon and Israel’s ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.
Calling the notion of regional events revolving around the axis of the Israel-Palestinian conflict “a fairy tale,” Moshe Ya’alon said that the other prevailing concept, that Arab nations will refuse to come together to combat Iran so long as the Palestinian issue remains unresolved, is equally false.
“As someone who meets a few people from Arab countries, that is not the story,” he said at the Institute for National Security Studies’ annual conference in Tel Aviv. “Behind closed doors the Palestinian issue is not even raised. It’s lip service.”
He acknowledged, though, that the linkage is made plain, even underscored, “in speeches made by the American administration.”
The November 24 interim deal between Iran and the six world powers known as the P5+1, Ya’alon said, was a monumental error. “History will judge the interim agreement,” he said. “We contend it was a historic missed opportunity.”
Under enormous political, economic and internal pressure, the regime “crawled on all fours to speak with the Great Satan,” he said, and came away victorious.
Today, Ya’alon contended, Iran, which supports terror the world over, and should be isolated internationally solely for that reason, has freed itself from global isolation and managed to entrench itself on the threshold of nuclear power. By maintaining the right to enrich uranium to 3.5 percent, he said, “the heart of the preservation of Iran’s military option has remained.”
The standing of the Islamic Republic has continued to rise regionally and internationally since November, he said, without so much as a word on the continued development of ballistic missiles or the constant export of international terror. The regime’s growing influence, its outsized aspirations and its willingness to sacrifice for a higher goal, he added, mixed with its “messianic apocalyptic” outlook, explain why “one way or another, their aspirations for a military nuclear option must be stopped.”