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Hanegbi: U.S. Wasting Time Talking with Iran

Former Kadima MK Tzahi Hanegbi criticizes U.S. conduct on Iran, hopes that Israel will take matters into its own hands if necessary.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/22/2012, 6:13 AM

Tzachi Hanegbi
Tzachi Hanegbi
Flash 90

Former Kadima MK Tzahi Hanegbi criticized this week the United States and its conduct during the negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program.

Hanegbi, formerly the chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, spoke at a meeting of the Professors for a Strong Israel organization, and accused the United States of taking part in meetings aimed at wasting time and creating a false impression. A recording of the meeting was received by one of the writers of the Makor Rishon newspaper.

“It so happens that today the third meeting, probably the last in a series of three comic encounters, is taking place,” Hanegbi said of the talks between the six world powers and Iran in Moscow. “The first was in Istanbul, the second was in Baghdad, the third in Moscow, and the intention here is to deceive Israel. This is the purpose of the meetings. The Americans are aware of the fact that nothing will come out of these talks, but they need to earn that time, to show a façade of discourse.”

Hanegbi also referred to Iran's conduct, saying, “The Iranians are playing the game, as usual, using their seasoned sophistication, and time goes by. We are approaching the decisive moment. Eventually the diplomatic effort will be over, I believe, with a very slim chance that Iran will announce that it is accepting the Security Council resolutions.”

He claimed that most European leaders, and some American leaders, have decided to accept the possibility that Iran will have nuclear weapons.

“I think that many in Europe, almost all European leaders, as well as a significant number of U.S. leaders, have already mentally accepted a nuclear Iran,” said Hanegbi. “There are many excuses. Anyone who follows can read articles by some very prestigious research institutes in the United States which preach for this reconciliation, because it actually a recycling of the successful example of the Cold War.”

Hanegbi expressed hope that if all else fails Israel will take matters into its own hands and launch an attack on Iran.

“What we see as pure Western common sense, which is only considerations of cost vs. benefit, could be a different common sense where the Iranian leadership is concerned,” he said. “Even if there is not a high chance that [Iran using nuclear weapons on Israel] this would happen, the risk is too high. And that’s why on this issue I can only hope that, if all the optimistic scenarios one after another are unsuccessful, the State of Israel will take its fate into its own hands.”