Defense Ministry slams Obama statement, compares Iran deal to Munich pact

In highly unusual statement, Defense Ministry says lessons of failed 1938 agreement with Nazi Germany "also hold true for Iran."

A group of Orthodox Jewish protesters who support the Iran deal gathered in New York to protest against another group of anti-Iran deal protesters (photo credit: REUTERS)
A group of Orthodox Jewish protesters who support the Iran deal gathered in New York to protest against another group of anti-Iran deal protesters
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Responding to comments by US President Barack Obama, who said that Israel has acknowledged that Iran is keeping its end of the nuclear deal, the Defense Ministry released a highly unusual and strongly-worded statement on Friday, comparing the arrangement to the failed 1938 Munich pact with the Nazis.
"The Israeli defense establishment believes that agreements have value, only if they are based on an existing reality, and that they have no value if the facts on the ground are completely the opposite of [the concepts] on which an agreement is based on," the Ministry said.
"The Munich agreement did not prevent the Second World War and the Holocaust, precisely because their basic assumption, that Nazi Germany could be a partner to any kind of agreement, was wrong, and because the leaders of the world at that time ignored the explicit statements by Hitler and the rest of the leaders of Nazi Germany," the Ministry added.
The Ministry said that these lessons from the 1930s also hold true for Iran today, which openly announces its aim to destroy the State of Israel. It cited a US State Department report published this year that listed Iran as the world's top sponsor of terrorism.
"Hence, the defense establishment, like the rest of the Israeli people and many in the world, understands that agreements of this kind signed between the world powers and Iran are not helpful, but only harm the uncompromising struggle that must be undertaken against a terrorist state like Iran," it concluded.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office said in a statement released shortly following the Defense Ministry's comments that the Israeli government's position on the Iran deal remains intact, but noted that there was no more important ally in the world than the United States. 
"As [Netanyahu] outlined in his speech to the UN last year, now it is important that those who agree and for those who object to cooperate in order to achieve three objectives," the PMO statement said. 
"Make sure that Iran does not violate the terms of the agreement," it continued, adding "deal with regional aggression from Iran and dismantle the global terrorist network of the Islamic Republic." 
The statement from Netanyahu's office concluded by stating: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expects that these objectives will become common policy and expects the alliance between Israel and the United States to strengthen with US President Barack Obama and with the next US administration."
Avigdor Liberman, who became Defense Minister in May this year, said in July that the international community is ignoring Iran's violation of its nuclear agreement with world powers, during his first appearance before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
"The Iranian threat is still the greatest threat to the State of Israel," Liberman said last month. "Iran is still promoting its missile program with full force...and we don't have to guess whom the missiles program is targeting." The Defense Minister pointed to a test-fire of two missiles in Iran earlier this year, which had the message "Israel must be erased" written on them in Hebrew.
"The fact that nations of the world are trying to ignore this clear violation of UN Security Council decisions about the agreement, which they themselves signed with Iran, proves my point," he added.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report