Ya'alon: Tough diplomacy will prevent military force against Iran

Defense minister: Agreement with Tehran under current conditions would be "historic mistake"; amid nuke talks in Geneva, Ya'alon urges West not to ease sanctions while Iran is in economic distress, "anxious about survival."

Moshe Ya'alon giving speach 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner )
Moshe Ya'alon giving speach 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner )
The international community must know how to engage in tough diplomacy with Iran if it wishes to avoid seeing military force used against the Islamic Republic, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon cautioned on Saturday.
He added that an agreement between Iran and the international community over Tehran's nuclear program under the current proposed terms would be a "historic mistake."
Iran and the P5+1 world powers on Saturday held a third consecutive day of negotiations on Tehran's  disputed nuclear ambitions.
"Specifically now, when the Iranian regime is in great economic distress and is anxious about its survival, Western countries must not blink and strike a bad deal, which will grant Iran breathing space and ease the sanctions on the one hand, and won't cause it to make real concessions on the nuclear project on the other," Ya'alon said.
"It's important for those who want to prevent a need to use force against Iran to know how to manage tough diplomacy, to bring the Iranian regime to a junction in which it'll have to choose between its survival or a continuation of the nuclear project," he added.
He called on the international community "not to be blinded" by the Iranian charm offensive.
"Iran is the one that needs an agreement to rescue itself from the coming economic collapse, and that's why Western states must not appear to be eager to reach an agreement, the significance of which could be disastrous not only for the Middle East, but for the entire world," the defense minister warned.
"An agreement now, under current conditions, is a historic mistake that will allow the war-mongering regime in Tehran to continue with its dangerous nuclear program, and its ambition to spread terrorism and undermine regimes across the Middle East, and the whole world," the defense minister warned.
Meanwhile in Berlin, during a Holocaust memorial speech, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said the Jewish people will never be helpless again when facing enemies.
Speaking at Track 17 at the Berlin-Grunweald station, used by the Nazis as a major deportation site to send Jews to concentration camps during the Second Wold War, Gantz said, "the state of Israel in 2013 is strong. The Jewish nation-state is a democratic and advanced country with a powerful military that deters [its enemies]. Today too, we are required to deal with hostile states and organizations that seek to harm us, but unlike the past, we face our enemies from a position of strength - stronger than ever before."
"We won't allow the horrors of the past to return, we will not allow those who seek our harm to raise their heads. We won't be helpless when facing our enemies," he said.
"The nation of Israel will always have the most protective and skilled defensive force. Against any threat, from any distance, we will be fortified and independent in our abilities to defend ourselves. We won't bow our head before any danger that threatens the Jewish people in its land. The IDF is the Jewish people's answer to the incinerators, gas chambers, the pits and the killings. The IDF is the revival of the Jewish people."
JPost.com Staff contributed to this report.