“We’ve presented [our allies] with concrete intelligence that proves that Iran is systematically deceiving the world,” FM Lapid says, as nuclear talks resume in Vienna.
By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid revealed on Monday a new development in the ongoing shadow war between Israel and Iran.
Addressing the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Lapid said that Israel has provided the U.S. and other western powers with concrete evidence portraying to Iran’s deceiving conduct on the world stage.
“In the past few months, we have held extensive debates, primarily with the United States, but also with Moscow, Paris, London, Brussels … we’ve sad very clearly that we won’t allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. We would prefer to cooperate, but will act alone if necessary,” Hebrew language media outlet Maariv cited Lapid as saying.
While Lapid was reiterating Iran’s growing threat to the world, the negotiations over a nuclear deal with Tehran resumed in Vienna, with a round of new demands made by the Islamic republic and growing concerns among participating countries over Iran’s commitment to the process.
Concerns that may very well be justified, as Lapid explained.
“We’ve presented [our allies] with concrete intelligence that proves that Iran is systematically deceiving the world,” Lapid said. “It only cares about sanctions being lifted and money pouring into its nuclear program, Hezbollah, Syria, Iraq – to its global network of terror,” he continued.
“Israel is not opposed to all agreements. A good agreement is a good agreement. We oppose an agreement that does not allow proper supervision over Iran’s nuclear program, its finances and its network of terror,” he stated.
Lapid then moved on to discuss what he described as the “continued systematic erosion over the years of Israel’s Foreign Ministry due to political considerations,” suggesting that Israel’s effort to confront Iran diplomatically has been challenged by the lack of appropriate budgets and human capital.
“For too many years, Israel has forgotten about the proper way of doing things,” he argued. “Just so you understand how bad the situation was – Turkey has 223 missions across the world, Iran has 100, the Palestinian Authority has 103 and Israel had 102,” he said. “The State of Israel had less diplomatic missions across the world than the Palestinian Authority, until we assumed office.”
Iran is currently insisting that the U.S. and its allies promise to allow Tehran to export its crude oil. Speaking to reporters in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Iran wants the upcoming round of talks to focus on achieving the “point where Iranian oil is being sold easily and without any barriers and its money arrives in Iran’s bank accounts.”
AP contributed to this report.