Netanyahu fears that the American return to the agreement will be interpreted as the failure of a strategy he has adopted since 2009 in which he has portrayed Iran as his archenemy and the “moderate” Sunni coalition countries or the printers
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting that included a number of senior officials, and discussed Washington’s possible return to the nuclear deal with Iran.
The three-hour meeting, which was held at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, was attended by the foreign and defense ministers, Gabi Ashkenazi and Benny Gantz, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, Ambassador to Washington Gilad Erdan, and senior security officials. The meeting discussed monitoring Iranian nuclear facilities and preventing the Iranian position in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, according to Israeli radio.
The director of the Al-Jazeera office in Ramallah, Walid Al-Omari, said that this meeting is the first in a series of meetings that will continue the next stage, and it is also the first since the phone call between Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden last Friday.
He added that the goal behind the meeting is clear, as Israel, after having failed to provoke Iran and draw it into military action that obstructs the United States’ return to work with it under the nuclear agreement, is now trying to blackmail the new US administration and with it the European Union in order for amendments to be made to the concluded agreement. The year 2015 also includes the Iranian missile force, and also what Israel calls the Iranian positioning in Syria.
According to the director of the Al-Jazeera office, Netanyahu also wants, through this step, to try to deliver a message to the American administration that Israel refuses to return to the nuclear agreement and to try to get what it can even if Washington returns to this agreement.
What Netanyahu fears most – as the director of the Al-Jazeera office says – is that the American return to the agreement will be interpreted as a failure of his strategy that he has adopted since 2009, in which he portrayed Iran as his archenemy and for whom he calls the moderate Sunni alliance countries or the countries that normalized its relations with Tel Aviv.
It is noteworthy that Netanyahu is one of the most vocal opponents of the nuclear agreement concluded by the 5 + 1 group (America, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China) with Iran in 2015, and he also opposes the return of the United States to it.
The Israeli position
A few days ago, in response to the positive US shift towards Tehran through steps including the withdrawal of the request made by the administration of former President Donald Trump to re-impose UN sanctions, Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying that Israel is committed to its commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and that its position on the nuclear agreement did not change.
The Israeli statement added that returning to the nuclear agreement with Iran will pave the way for it to acquire a nuclear arsenal, indicating that Israel is conducting an ongoing dialogue in this regard with the US administration.
For his part, Danny Danon, the former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations (head of the international branch of the Likud party), warned that Israel will consider a set of difficult decisions towards Iran, if the US president chooses to return to the nuclear deal.
And earlier this month, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Iran had 6 months to produce a nuclear weapon.