The world will face unprecedented threats if Iran attains a nuclear weapon, National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata warned at a conference of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Bahrain on Sunday.
“We have been speaking about all of the malign activities of Iran throughout the region,” Hulata said. “Think how much bolder and dangerous Iran will be with a nuclear umbrella.”
“Should Iran achieve its nuclear ambitions, the region as we know it will be no longer. The free world would face extreme threats it hasn’t faced before, with a new nuclear arms race and the collapse of the existing nonproliferation regime,” he stated.
Iran was deterred from developing a nuclear weapon only “when it was faced by determination,” Hulata posited, and called for a united message that Iran will not be allowed to go nuclear.
“We should recognize that Iran is stalling, and will continue to draw more concessions, unless we start showing unified determination, and then we can achieve our goals,” he said.
Hulata spoke at the annual IISS Manama Dialogue forum of government ministers and experts on the region’s security challenges, on a panel called “Militias, Missiles and Nuclear Proliferation.”
Israel faces these threats every day, he said, and not just because of the “over-politicized issue of Israel’s right for existence,” but because the threats come from extremists who seek to impose themselves on the entire world.
Hulata listed Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the US, as well as Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as “friends” in the fight against Iran and its proxies, which attacked Aramco in Saudi Arabia, Emirati ships, and attempted to assassinate the prime minister of Iraq.
The US and Israel “may not agree on everything, but we share the goals of preventing Iran from ever being able to break out to nuclear weapons and to limit their [Iran’s] regional domination,” he stated.
US National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk spoke on the same panel, and warned that Washington will use force against Iran if it needs to.
“If tested, we will protect our people, including through the use of military force when necessary,” McGurk said, “and if we need to use force, we are prepared to do so, decisively. We are not going to be drawn into tit-for-tat exchanges of fire with Iranian-backed proxy groups and they know it.”
McGurk said that the US approach to Iran is grounded in “deterrence, diplomacy and de-escalation,” and based on the assumption that Iran will remain an adversary in the foreseeable future.