Dichter: Good Reasons to be Concerned Over Iran

Likud MK warns that impending agreement will allow Iran to be a nuclear threshold state, and Israel must prepare for that.

Elad Benari ,

Avi Dichter
Avi Dichter
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

MK Avi Dichter (Likud), who in the past served as head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), on Tuesday said that Israel has “very good reasons” to be concerned over the impending deal with Iran.

“We have very good reasons to be concerned, and even very concerned," said Dichter, who spoke to the Hebrew language Walla! news website as talks were underway between Iran and world powers in Switzerland.

"Last minute difficulties are typical of these kinds of negotiations. When the foreign ministers of the six world powers are flowing to Lausanne starting at the end of last week, this is indeed a cause for concern. And even if there are last minute difficulties, it appears as though they are headed towards the signing of a framework agreement. Once the framework exists, the details become even more problematic later,” he warned.

Dichter said that while President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and other world leaders have said that an agreement cannot have Iran possessing nuclear weapons or even being a nuclear threshold state, “when you look at the agreement you see that it actually builds Iran towards being a nuclear threshold state that will not have difficulties going through this stage. Within a few months it will be able to pass this threshold.”

“Any agreement that allows this is a very bad agreement. And not only to Israel, but also to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Arab countries. Iran produces a threat to them as well,” he told Walla!.

Asked what Israel should do in case a bad agreement is signed, Dichter replied, "If the worst happens and Iran signs the agreement and becomes a nuclear threshold state, with proven capabilities and nuclear weapons should it desire, and the West will not prevent it, the smartest thing that can be done is to prepare ourselves in terms of intelligence and how to prevent, if necessary, Iran from becoming a state with nuclear weapons.”

"I believe that the Prime Minister, Defense Minister and the IDF must be able to deal with this existential threat. If the agreement, G-d forbid, takes shape, Israel will have, that same day, to have the necessary offensive capabilities in addition to the defensive capabilities," he said.

Dichter’s comments were made before the sides decided to continue the negotiations beyond the self-imposed Tuesday night deadline and extend them by at least a day.

Hours later, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, claimed that the sides had reached a preliminary agreement and had begun drafting the text, but diplomats close to the negotiations rejected the claims as untrue.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday that the deal being formed will leave Iran with its secret nuclear facilities and centrifuges used in enriching uranium, a key part of the process in developing nuclear weapons.