Israel must prepare for war with Iran without US help, former NSA chief says
Yaacov Amidror says recent tensions, changing Middle East landscape and shifting US priorities make a ‘deterioration’ in the security situation likely
Former national security adviser Yaakov Amidror said Thursday that war with Iran is increasingly likely and Israel needs to gear up to attack without US assistance.
“We need to prepare for war. It’s possible that we will reach a point where we have to attack Iran even without American assistance,” Amidror, a hawkish former general who served as Nation Security Council chief under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2011-2013, said in an interview with Radio 103 FM.
Amidror was discussing a flareup over the Passover holiday that saw rockets fired at Israel from Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria by groups largely seen as Iranian proxies.
“Iran is more sure of itself. It has managed to sign a number of agreements with Arab states. The world is starting to look different,” he said, referring to the recent agreements by the UAE and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic ties with Tehran.
“With all that, the chances of a [security] deterioration are greater,” Amidror said.
He also questioned the US commitment to Israel’s security.
“America is not the same America in terms of its presence, and the Iranians see that. The US has much greater problems than the Middle East. The world looks at Israel differently,” he said.
Amidror’s statements come despite repeated US declarations it is committed to Israel’s security and a recent show of force last week, when it broke protocol and announced that it had dispatched a nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine to the Middle East to “help ensure regional maritime security and stability” amid increasing tensions with Iran.
In a rare move, the Pentagon released a picture of the USS Florida, an Ohio-class submarine, as it transited the Suez Canal on its way to the Persian Gulf. The US usually does not disclose the locations of its submarines while they are at sea.
Separately on Wednesday, the Walla news site reported that IDF Military Intelligence has recently told political leaders that the prospect of war is currently more likely than restored calm. Intelligence assessments cited in the report said tensions are expected to persist when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends later this month and that Israel should hold off for the moment on retaliating to recent attacks by Hamas, the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, and Iranian proxies in Syria.
Amid a multifront escalation of violence, 36 rockets were launched into Israel from Lebanon on April 6. Two people were lightly injured by shrapnel.
In addition, recent days saw a rocket attack from Syria, rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank, and a suspected Iranian drone launched from Syria.
Israel blamed the Hamas terror group for the rocket fire, as well as volleys of rockets fired from Gaza. The Israeli Air Force carried out strikes in both Gaza and Lebanon last week in retaliation.