Bennett: Israeli objections to Iran nuclear deal paying off

Remarks made following PM's warnings that Israel won't be bound by a bad agreement with Iran.

November 18, 2013 15:47
2 minute read.
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)


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The Israeli government’s vocal objections to the proposed interim nuclear deal being mulled by Iran and the Western powers is having a positive effect on the parameters of any future agreement, according to a top minister in Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who is currently in the United States to lobby pro-Israel supporters on the need for a more robust approach toward the Iranian regime, told Army Radio on Monday that “Israeli opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran is beginning to bear fruit.”

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“We want a good deal,” Bennett told Army Radio. “The state of Israel’s goal is to get to an agreement that dismantles Iran’s nuclear machine, and not a deal that simply pushes the pause button for a few months.”

French President Francois Hollande, who is in Israel for a three-day visit, said that France would not surrender to nuclear proliferation and would stand firm by its demands on the Iranians before consenting to an interim agreement. The French leader spelled out at the press conference at the Prime Minister’s Residence what those conditions were.

Hollande said France was demanding that all Iran’s nuclear installations be placed under international controls, the suspension of all uranium enrichment to 20 percent, the reduction of existing stockpiles of enriched uranium, and a complete halt to the construction of the heavy water reactor at Arak.

“These are four points fundamental for an agreement to be reached,” he said.

Amid Netanyahu's repeated warnings that Israel will not be bound by a "bad" agreement with Iran, former national security adviser Yaakov Amidror said Sunday that Israel has the ability to strike Iran, and is willing to do so alone.

Amidror, in a Financial Times interview obviously timed and placed to send a message to the world, said Israel could halt Iran’s nuclear capability “for a very long time,” and that the air force has conducted “very long-range flights... all around the world” in preparation.

“We are not the United States of America, of course, and believe it or not they have more capabilities than us,” Amidror said. “But we have enough to stop the Iranians for a very long time.

“We are not bluffing,” he said. “We are very serious – preparing ourselves for the possibility that Israel will have to defend itself by itself.”

Amidror said Israel could not, nor would it want to, “count on others to do the job if the others don’t want to do the job.”

Asked how Israel would respond if Hezbollah retaliated by firing missiles and rockets at Israel, Amidror indicated the government would be ready to “use ground forces to go into the urban centers and to deal with the people who are launching the rockets, and to destroy the rockets and launchers.”

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