Former Shin Bet chief: Iran deal is best option for Israel

Admiral (res.) Ami Ayalon says the deal will slow down Iran's fast track to creating a nuclear bomb.

July 21, 2015 14:02
1 minute read.
Iranian clerics watch the firing of a Shahab-3 missile during a war game in a desert near Qom

Iranian clerics watch the firing of a Shahab-3 missile during a war game in a desert near the city of Qom. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Despite all the backlash amongst Israeli officials and the public alike to the recent Iran nuclear deal, the former head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) stands out as a lone voice of support for the agreement.

Admiral (res.) Ami Ayalon said Tuesday in an interview with The Daily Beast that "when it comes to Iran's nuclear capability, this [deal] is the best option."

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"When negotiations began, Iran was two months away from acquiring enough material for a [nuclear] bomb. Now it will be 12 months," he said.

Ayalon, who served as the Shin Bet chief from 1995 to 2000, criticized those who are against the Iran deal for ignoring the benefits of the agreement, saying that "Israelis are failing to distinguish between reducing Iran's nuclear capability and Iran being the biggest devil in the Middle East." Ayalon said this is because it is "easy to play with fears in a fearful society.”
Knesset backlash over Iran deal

In the same stroke, he took aim at US president Barack Obama for not being absolutely clear on the consequences for Iran if they fail to hold up their end of the deal.

He "doesn't have the right combination of the language of peace and the language of war," Ayalon said of Obama. "He has to make it very clear that while he believes in diplomacy, he also knows how to use force."

Ayalon emphasized that overall, the issue of Iran "is not black and white."

On Sunday, another voice in support of the deal was Shabtai Shavit, the former head of Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad. He said that the nuclear deal struck between Iran and Western powers offers Jerusalem an opening to join “a new Middle Eastern order.”

“Iran is considered to be the adversary of all those countries...of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Emirates,” Shavit said. “In other words, the more moderate Sunni Islam. And we are a member in this same camp.”

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