Minister Gilad Erdan
Minister Gilad ErdanIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Minister of Home Front Defense Gilad Erdan expressed surprise Thursday at United States Secretary of State John Kerry’s response to recent Israeli criticism of a proposed deal with Iran.

“I was shocked at Kerry’s statement asking why the Prime Minister had criticized the agreement being put together without waiting for it to be signed,” Erdan said, addressing a conference hosted by the Institute for National Security Studies.

“That’s an argument that I haven’t heard for many years,” he continued. “We’re talking about a state that wants to destroy Israel, and conditions that would allow it to carry out its plans.”

“What do they expect from the Israeli Prime Minister? That he not speak out when the knife is in [the attacker’s] hand – only when it is at our throats?” Erdan demanded.

Netanyahu’s criticism was helpful, he added. “It’s only thanks to the debate over the terms discussed in secret in Geneva that we may get better conditions,” he argued.

“Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and his friends can’t keep the smiles off their faces as they walk around Geneva,” he added. “They themselves cannot believe how easily they managed to dispose of the sanctions.”

Erdan warned against agreeing to an unfavorable “temporary” agreement. “Make no mistake – the ‘interim’ agreement will be the permanent agreement,” he stated.

“Everyone who is involved needs to know that as soon as Iran becomes a country on the threshold of nuclear power, it will start an arms race in the Middle East, and uncertainty in the region will increase,” he warned.