Dennis Ross
Dennis RossUri Lenz/Flash 90

Dennis Ross, who served as a senior advisor to three US presidents and took part in the Middle East peace process for decades, gave an interview to Israel Hayom, in which he attacked the current administration's policy on Iran.

"Iran doesn't fear us the way they need to fear us. They have to understand that the path they're on, especially the nuclear path they're on is one that is extremely risky for them as they measure risk, not as we think they should measure risk, but as they measure this. The fact that they enrich to 60%, that they have 16 cascades of new centrifuges, advanced centrifuges, IR6s, in enriching the 60% level...they're on a pathway where even if they haven't made a decision to have a nuclear weapon, they're putting themselves in a position where they can have the option to have a nuclear weapon. And they continue to proceed,” he said.

“They're going to get to a point where not only do they have the option but it'd be difficult to reverse it. They clearly don't have a fear they don't see that is exposing them to risk. So we have got to communicate, talk to them in a way, both in words and an action that gives them a reason to see something is different. The exercises we're running now are good. They can reinforce the image of the words. The words are out there, but if there's nothing that reinforces them, they won't mean a lot," added Ross.

He also told Israel Hayom that the US should provide Israel with aerial refueling capability that would send the message that America will not stand in Israel's way.

"Israel has bought four KC-46s. This will allow them [Israel] to be much more effective. The problem with the Iranian hardening of their targets is you will have to hit the same target multiple times in the same spot to be able to destroy it. The Iranians believe not only that we won't act militarily but that we will stop you from acting militarily...we should push Israel to the front of the line [in KC-46s] to immediately send a message to the Iranians, that not only are we not going to stop the Israelis – we will support them," said Ross, adding the US should exact a price for Iran's aggression against US forces in the region.

"We have been hit 83 times now by Iranian proxies in Syria and Iraq; we responded three times. The problem is with the Iranians, is that Iranians will fight to the very last of the proxies – they don't care about proxy casualties; they care about their own casualties. We need to hit them in a way they don't expect. If you begin to do that, they'll also get the message, even in the region, that some of what they're doing is more dangerous than they thought. We have to convince them by our words and our actions that they have miscalculated about us and they're running a risk," he stated.

Ross said that the US "should take a page from the Israeli playbook, where you carry out certain kinds of strikes and you don't admit it."

Ross was also asked about the fact that Biden has yet to invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, and whether that undermines the relations between Israel and the US.

"No. No. Look at the scope of what we're doing with Israel right now. We have unprecedented exercises with Israel. Unprecedented...If you ask me, 'Will they have a meeting at some point?' My answer is yes,” he replied.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu said to him 'I've got my hands on the steering wheel, this is my government, my decision.' But then Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich appears before a map that shows no Jordan and says there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. And you have Itamar Ben-Gvir's statements. I think the whole nature of the way the judicial reform process has been handled raised questions. I think that Biden wants to see that Bibi is the Bibi that he's always known. I saw plenty of their interactions in the three years of the Obama administration I was a part of. They have a relationship that is a very interesting relationship. And I mean, it is interesting in a positive way,” he added.

“One of the things I've always felt about Prime Minister Netanyahu is when he believes that you're a friend of Israel, he can accept all sorts of things and he views Biden genuinely and understandably as someone who has an emotional connection to Israel. Of all the presidents I've worked for...Biden is one of those who has, I think, maybe the strongest emotional connection to Israel, of any of the presidents that I've known and worked for. You saw when he went to Yad Vashem and bent a knee. This is Biden. His connection to Israel is an emotional one," stated Ross.