A senior Israeli official told the media on Monday that Jerusalem is still considering military action against the Islamic Republic of Iran as a feasible option, regardless of Tehran’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 world powers.
Israeli Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led government in Israel would devote serious attention towards evaluating the threat posed by the Iranian regime, stating that the “military option” against the Islamic Republic is still up for discussion.
“It was on the table. It’s still on the table. It’s going to remain on the table. Israel should be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. And it’s our right and duty to decide how to defend ourselves, especially if our national security and even very existence is under threat,” the Israeli minister told reporters.
The Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs said last week that the Iran deal basic framework agreed upon by the negotiators was “detached from wretched reality in which Iran refuses to make any concessions on the nuclear issue and continues to threaten Israel and all other countries in the Middle East.” He added, We will continue with our efforts to explain and persuade the world in hopes of preventing a bad (final) agreement.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to ensure that any final agreement for Iran’s nuclear program mandates that the Iranian regime recognize Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign state. U.S. President Barack Obama has rejected the Israeli Prime Minister’s suggestion.
On Monday, Steinitz displayed a list of 10 issues Israel was concerned about with regard to a potential agreement, which negotiators have until June to finalize.
One item on the list pushes for a complete stoppage of “research and development” on Iran’s advanced centrifuges, and asks that the regime provide full disclosure about the activities going on at its underground Fordo nuclear facility.
If Israel’s suggestions are implemented, “It might become a much better deal and a more comprehensive and trusted deal than it is today,” said Steinitz, explaining that the deal as currently formulated is a “bad deal.”