Israel Threatens Attack On Iran If Vienna Nuclear Talks Don’t Go Its Way
Israel is continuing to threaten Iran with military attack as the latter re-engages world powers in Vienna in hopes of restoring to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal. As we detailed earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett phoned Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday in order to urge that the US abandon talks altogether. It’s well-known that Israel has been opposed to any restored deal, but actually urging that the US and Iranian sides not even dialogue in Vienna is a new request.
“Iran is engaged in nuclear blackmail as a negotiation tactic — this must lead to an immediate suspension of the talks in Vienna and to harsh retaliation steps by the world powers,” Bennett told Blinken. The revelation of the phone call came the same day Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel is still holding out the “option” of a military attack on the Islamic Republic.
The defense chief’s words were issued to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth. He told the publication, “I do think we always have to prepare the option for the moment when we may find ourselves alone.”
“I say again, an attack [against Iran] is an option. It doesn’t have to be the first one,” he underscored. Gantz expressed followed this with: “the US as a world leader will stand behind its promise and responsibility.”
Given the recent spate of Israeli sabotage attacks on Iranian infrastructure as well as nuclear sites, it does appear Tel Aviv is readying a ‘plan B’ for the aftermath of Vienna talks. However, it will be much harder for it to act militarily and out in the open should the US in the end ink an agreement with Iran and other JCPOA signatories.
Israel has approved a budget of some 5 billion shekels ($1.5 billion) to be used to prepare the military for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear program, Channel 12 reported Monday.
…It includes funds for various types of aircraft, intelligence-gathering drones and unique armaments needed for such an attack, which would have to target heavily fortified underground sites, the unsourced report said.
Much of Iran’s mid and long-rage missile arsenal remains in underground bunkers, ready to deploy as part of a large network of below surface “missile cities” – hence the report’s mention of munitions that could penetrate underground.
Report: Israel stockpiling weapons for possible attack on Iran https://t.co/m5pbJLb4YW
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) December 3, 2021
But it seems that with each new Israeli threat, leaders in Tehran become more determined to see a deal through, conditioned on Washington dropping all Trump-era sanctions. There’s also the possibility of a ‘partial deal’ – which Israel has also expressed disapproval of. Following four days of renewed talks, the Iranian side hailed negotiations as “fruitful”.
Fri, 12/03/2021 – 15:40