Ya'alon: Iran is the Problem, Not the Solution

'I don't buy US narrative' which sees Iran as regional solution, Defense Minister states, a day before final nuclear deal's deadline.

Cynthia Blank ,

Iranian Revolutionary Guards (file)
Iranian Revolutionary Guards (file)

Israel and the United States are divided on the Iran issue because Jerusalem sees the Islamic Republic as a threat to the region while Washington views it as a solution, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon asserted Monday. 

"The US has a narrative on Iran that I don't buy," Ya'alon stated during a diplomatic press briefing, a day before a final deal is due between P5+1 world powers and Iran on the latter's nuclear program.

According to Ya'alon, Israel advocated exerting tougher pressure on Iran, while the US preferred to pursue an agreement. 

"We claimed ramping up pressure would bring the [Iranian] regime to a dilemma: Either the bomb, or survival," Ya'alon said. "But the way negotiations were conducted allowed the Iranians to avoid that dilemma. Because it went that way, we still find ourselves divided."

Israel should still view increasing pressure on the Tehran regime as a top priority, Ya'alon claims, as opposed to a military attack. 

"This pressure brought Iran into talks with America," he explained. "But today there is no military threat on Iran, no diplomatic isolation, and there's been more talk of easing economic pressures since the interim agreement was signed.

"For all those reasons, Iran also has no fear of an internal uprising. The issue was decided among the West against Israel's wishes."

Should world powers and Iran not come to an agreement by the June 30 deadline, Ya'alon was certain some sort of accord would eventually be reached, and that the agreement, as it appears to be emerging now, will not be a good one. 

"The agreement will create a reality in which Iran is a nuclear threshold state, even if there is a 10-year freeze on certain parts of its nuclear program," he stressed. 

Still, despite the rifts between Israel and the US on Iran, Ya'alon made clear that "honest and direct channels remain open" between the two countries on the issue. 

"We still want to influence the agreement as much as possible, be prepared for things to come and be ready to defend ourselves on our own," the Defense Minister concluded.