Israeli officials let Washington known they will not compromise on the nuclear issue or sign off on allowing Iran to expand its reach in Mideast.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Israeli officials involved in talks with the Biden administration over the Iran situation are worried that Washington and Tehran will reach a compromise over Iran’s regional military expansion in return for America rejoining the Iran Nuclear Deal, Walla News reported Thursday.
An analysis by Israel‘s National Security Agency and the Mossad shows that Israel is concerned the U.S. may be willing to let Iran expand its footprint in the region, especially in Syria. Israeli leaders have previously warned they cannot tolerate any Iranian military presence near the border with Syria.
Israeli defense officials told their U.S. counterparts that Israel will not be prepared for regional compromises as part of its nuclear threat strategy negotiations.
In closed-door talks, Israeli security officials say it would be easier for Americans and Iranians to agree on regional compromises – which could include Iranian military bases in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and terrorist financing in other areas such as the Gaza Strip where Iran funds Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups – over nuclear-related issues.
The concern in the Israeli defense establishment is that if Iran develops nuclear weapons in a few years, it will then do whatever it wants on regional issues and ignore past commitments, the report said.
The sources stressed that Israel insists the nuclear threat not be linked to any other regional issues.
The IDF estimates that at this stage the Americans and Iranians are both groping and trying to understand the scope of flexibility in the negotiation process.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran “with or without agreements – we will do everything so that you will not arm yourselves with nuclear weapons.”
While concerned about possible U.S. compromises to Iran, the Israeli defense establishment is satisfied with the United States’ commitment to Israel and with its close attention to regional interests.
The Israeli sources stress that a return to the previous agreement would be a mistake. They believe that the U.S. administration is well aware of the weaknesses in the agreement, and therefore sent it a sharp message that it must be ensured that Iran understands that it will never be able to develop a nuclear capability if it signs another agreement.
The Israeli sources told the Americans that removing the nuclear weapons option from the Iranian agenda is needed to prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.