Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin NetanyahuNoam Moshkovitz - Knesset spokesman

Opposition leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, attacked the Bennett-Lapid government in a special column in the Israel Hayom daily following Bennett's vowing not to take unilateral action against Iran's nuclear program without a green light from the White House.

"Various American governments, including the recent Biden administration, have repeatedly asked me not to 'surprise them' with our actions against Iran," wrote Netanyahu in his article.

"I have always refused to make that promise, maintaining our right to take action in the matter with or without a [nuclear agreement] between the U.S. and Iran. And now, within a week of the new government taking office, the de-facto Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, completely does away with this [long-held] policy, inflicting a fatal blow on Israel's ability to strike as needed somehow assuring the Americans there would be 'no surprises' on our part."

"Bennett and Lapid have turned Israel's 'iron wall' policy of deterrence into a plaster wall filled with holes," concluded the former Prime Minister.

Last week, Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry official told Reuters his country was concerned with increased nuclear activity by Iran.

Riyadh "is greatly concerned about the increased pace of Iran's nuclear activities and development of capabilities...that are not consistent with peaceful purposes", the Saudi official was quoted as saying, adding that Iran's moves to produce uranium enriched to 60% fissile purity and uranium metal to 20% "represent an increasing threat" to regional security and non-proliferation of weapons.

The comments came several days after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Iran has begun the process of producing enriched uranium metal.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

In April, the Islamic Republic announced it would begin enriching uranium to 60% purity, a move that would bring its uranium reservoir much closer to the 90% required for the creation of nuclear weapons.

Last month, Iran said it has already produced 6.5 kg (14 lb) of uranium enriched to up to 60%.

Saudi Arabia has been critical of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, describing it as a "flawed agreement".

During the negotiations between Iran and world powers on the 2015 nuclear deal, Saudi Arabia and other major Sunni states expressed concern over a deal which would allow Iran to produce nuclear weapons – a position which placed them very close to Israel on the matter.

Ultimately, however, Saudi Arabia's government expressed support for the deal.