Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed a gathering of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem Sunday evening.
During his speech, Bennett warned that a new nuclear deal being advanced in talks in Vienna could shield Iran's nuclear program, noting that the framework for talks is based on the 2015 deal, under which restrictions on uranium enrichment are set to expire in less than three years.
“Israel and the stable countries in the region are keeping one eye on the Ukrainian-Russian border, and one eye on Vienna, where the talks between world powers and Iran are taking place.”
“We look to Vienna and are deeply troubled by what we see.”
“The emerging deal, as it seems, is highly likely to create a more violent, a more volatile Middle East.”
“The single biggest problem with the current agreement is that the freeze sunsets after two-and-a-half years. Which is right around the corner”
“By this agreement, in two-and-a-half years, Iran will freely be able to develop, install, and operate advanced centrifuges, according to the agreement as it stands right now.”
“In the meantime, as an advance payment, Iran gets now tens of billions of dollars in frozen assets and access to markets. Much of this will be funneled towards attacking Israel, attacking our allies, and even attacking American soldiers in the Middle East. That’s what they’re doing now.”
Iran, Bennett continued, “is at one of its weakest points in history, and now we’re going to pour tens of billions of dollars back into this apparatus of terror.”
The new deal under consideration puts Iran "on the fast track to military-grade enrichment".
“Israel will not allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. Israel will always maintain its right to defend itself.”
“I have no doubt that Israel will prevail with whatever circumstances we face. We have developed a strategy around the deal which we feel will make it much harder, enriching this incredible corrupt and brutal regime.”
The event, hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is the group’s 40th conference in Jerusalem, and comes after a two-year hiatus of the annual conference, due to the coronavirus.