Rivlin: Whoever leads next gov't needs to know how to handle Iran

Amos Yadlin warned that if the US ceases to be an umbrella for Israel at the United Nations, the outcome for Israel will be catastrophic.

(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
President Reuven Rivlin said on Monday that he hopes the next government will be able to properly deal with the Iranian threat, during a ceremony in which he received the Institute for National Security Studies annual strategic assessment.
He said that Iran has become more dangerous with its decision to back out of the nuclear deal and to develop nuclear weapons. While he does not know what the future will bring, he hopes it brings the establishment of a government and one that can handle the country’s security threats.
INSS executive director Amos Yadlin presented the assessment, saying that a week ago he would have said that Qasem Soleimani was one Israel's three worst enemies. 
"Now there is one less," he said, but noted that the IRGC leader’s assassination does not necessarily diminish the Iranian threat – especially since the United States, which is Israel's chief ally, is gradually distancing itself from involvement in the Middle East.
The US no longer needs Middle East oil, he said, since it has more than enough of its own.
While America is backing away from the Middle East, Russia is making increasing inroads, said Yadlin. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin is not Israel's enemy, he underscored that Russia and Israel do not always share common interests in the region.
For that matter, he said, Israel and the US don’t always share common interests in the region either, but "the strategic alliance between Israel and the US is of the utmost importance."
Yadlin warned that if the US ceases to be an umbrella for Israel at the United Nations, the outcome for the Jewish state will be catastrophic.
He made the distinction between political Islam and radical Islam, noting that while both are anti-Israel, political Islam has concerns similar to those of Israel with regard to Iran and Turkey.
He also stressed the importance of Israel's maintaining relations with Egypt and Jordan, and its continuing to develop relations with other Middle East countries.
With reference to the current situation in Iran, Yadlin said that it could develop in many directions, but doubted that the Iranians were interested in a war against the major powers – although they do want to avenge Soleimani's death.
Even though the Iranians have both conventional and nuclear weapons, Yadlin did not envisage an American attack on the Islamic Republic.
INSS researcher Tzipi Israeli said surveys indicate that 87% of Israelis have full confidence in the IDF's ability to maintain Israel's security and to deal with any attempts to attack Israel.
In commenting on the assessment, Rivlin lauded the INSS, saying how important it was to have a research center which asks difficult questions, provides competent analysis and suggests viable solutions.