Bennett to present Biden with operational plan against Iran

Israel has a proposal to show the U.S. this week that can stop the Islamic republic, says the prime minister.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday that he has a plan to show to U.S. President Joe Biden when he meets the American leader on Thursday that can stop Iran’s most nefarious activities.

“We will present an orderly plan that we have formulated in the past two months to curb the Iranians, both in the nuclear sphere and vis-à-vis regional aggression,” he said at the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

Biden came into office this year saying that returning to the nuclear deal was the best way to stop Iran from attaining the weapons of mass destruction, but that it should be made tougher. His administration also talked of trying to make a separate deal with the Islamic Republic regarding its ballistic missile development, destabilization efforts in neighboring Arab countries and other activities that are not included in the 2015 accord but are harshly opposed by American allies such as Israel and the moderate Sunni states in the region.

Iran has refused to talk about anything other than a return to the original deal, but even those negotiations stopped after six rounds. It has also seriously violated the accords in several ways, including by beginning to enrich uranium to 60% purity, which is a short step from the 90% level needed for a bomb. Most recently, it started producing enriched uranium metal, a material that has no civilian use according to the Western countries signed onto the accord.

Israel has never made a secret of its opposition to the nuclear deal, although Bennett took a softer line when he came into office in May, saying that he wanted to work with the Americans on the issue.

But Iran’s recent progress has been alarming, he said at the meeting, and it is vital that he is going now for his first meeting with the president.

“The visit’s timing is very important,” he said, “because we are at a critical point with Iran…. Iran is advancing rapidly with uranium enrichment, and has already significantly shortened the time it needs to accumulate the necessary material for a single nuclear bomb.”

“I will tell President Biden that this is the time to block the Iranians, to stop this thing, not to give them a lifeline in the form of re-entering a nuclear deal that has already expired. It is no longer relevant, even by the standards of those who once thought that it was.”

While not divulging anything of the Israeli proposal, Bennett may have given a hint by also speaking of Israel’s recent normalization of ties with some Arab countries.

“We are now in a very rapid process… of restoring relations with the entire region so that together we can build a coalition to block Islamic and Iranian extremism. There are many other issues that we can cooperate on,” Bennett said.