During his trip to Washington last week, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz underscored the importance of having a viable military option if the nuclear deal with Iran goes through.
Gantz was in the U.S. to pre-empt what many are calling an “imminent’ renewal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – commonly known as the Iranian nuclear deal – which could be signed this week.
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan welcomed Gantz who flew to Washington, D.C. to underscore Israel’s objection to the deal. Israeli officials have said repeatedly that they are not obligated to the deal and will use military force is necessary to prevent Iran from going nuclear.
“Sullivan emphasized President Biden’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, and the two exchanged views on ways to deepen the U.S.-Israel security partnership, including via regional cooperation and coordination,” according to a readout issued by the U.S. National Security Council spokesperson. “They discussed US commitment to ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon, and the need to counter threats from Iran and Iran-based proxies. They also discussed the need to ensure equal measures of security, freedom, and prosperity for Palestinians and Israelis alike, and the importance of ongoing follow-through on initiatives announced during President (Joe) Biden’s trip to Israel.”
Israeli officials had an overall positive response to the meeting.
“I think that we are being listened to even if the Americans, in the end, don’t accept everything we want,” a senior Israeli defense official told reporters.
Meanwhile Israel is pushing for a meeting between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid next month either in person or by telephone, according to several Israeli media sources.
On Saturday, Gantz – who is still in America – said that the current deal needs “improvements.”
“Iran has gained knowledge, infrastructure and capabilities, much of which is irreversible,” Gantz said. “This will enable Iran to further expand its nuclear program during the period of an agreement that would have fewer restrictions.”
The lifting of sanctions will also help Iran which provides funding and weapons to terror groups.
“As such, regardless of any future scenarios, action must be taken against Iranian proxies, which threaten the entire Middle East region,” Gantz said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.