Israeli defense minister Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon hinted that Israel would carry out air strikes and assassinations to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and perhaps even to prevent the Iran deal from being implemented.
Ya’alon told the German newspaper Der Spiegel that he was ““not responsible for the lives of Iranian scientists.” He also said that Israel was considering air strikes.
“Ultimately it is very clear, one way or another, Iran’s military nuclear program must be stopped….We will act in any way and are not willing to tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. We prefer that this be done by means of sanctions, but in the end, Israel should be able to defend itself,” Ya’alon said, according to a translation quoted by the Times of Israel.
Israel is suspected of having carried out assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists in an effort to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear program.
Under the Iran deal, world powers (probably Russia) will provide Iran security to protect its nuclear facilities, which could make future Israeli covert actions much more difficult.
Both Ya’alon and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have insisted that Israel is not bound by the Iran deal and reserves the right of self-defense. President Barack Obama indicated in his speech on the Iran deal on Wednesday that Israel was alone against the deal.