Former US security chief: Israel may strike Iran before Biden takes office

McMaster says it’s a “possibility” Israel will take military action against Iran to stop nuclear weapons production.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

President Donald Trump’s former head of national security said that in the absence of any moves to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Israel could possibly step in to take military action against the Islamic Republic, Fox News reported Thursday.

Former National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said Iran was continuing to enrich uranium “and also continuing its four decade long proxy war against us and Israel and the Arab monarchies and the world.”

Interviewed on the Fox show Special Edition, McMaster noted that Israel has a clear policy of defending itself against nations like Iran that are committed to its destruction.

“Israel follows the Begin Doctrine, which means they will not accept a hostile state to having the most destructive weapons on earth,” McMaster said, referring to the late Israeli leader Menachem Begin, who ordered an air strike in 1981 to destroy the Iraq nuclear reactor being built by dictator Saddam Hussein.

“We have seen this in the past with Israeli Defense Forces strikes in Syria,” he said, noting that North Korea was helping Syria construct a nuclear weapons facility that the IDF struck in 2007.

“I think that it’s a possibility” that Israel might take action,” McMaster said. “We’re back to the kind of 2006 period when we knew that Iran was pursuing this threshold nuclear weapons capability, tensions were higher and the IDF was about to act at that point.”

McMaster, a former senior army general with a PhD in American history, was fired by Trump in 2018 over differences of opinion in foreign policy. McMaster noted that American sanctions and pressure on Iran had previously proven successful in stopping Israel from military action.

“This is one of the reasons, because of the increasing tension, that Iran said ‘oh yea, I’d like to negotiate now’ because the sanctions against Iran were starting to bite against them and the Israeli Defense Forces, I think, was considering action,” McMaster said.

He also warned a Biden administration against reopening the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Trump pulled out of in 2018.

“It would be a really big mistake to turn the clock back to 2016 and resurrect the nuclear deal,” McMaster emphasized. “The Iran nuclear deal was a political disaster masquerading as a diplomatic triumph.”

“These big payoffs to Iran when the deal was signed, as well as the relief of sanctions … what did they do with that money? They applied that money to intensify sectarian violence across the region in an effort to put a proxy army on the border of Israel,” McMaster said, referring to the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.