Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu kept up his criticism of the framework nuclear deal with Iran on Tuesday, pointing out that it fails to address Tehran’s long-range missile arsenal that he argues is meant to enable a nuclear strike against Israel.
“Why doesn’t the framework address Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear payloads?” he asked on his official Twitter account, reports AFP.
He said the economic benefits from the easing of sanctions would go to fund Iran-sponsored terrorists across the Middle East, as Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
“What is to stop Iran from using the over one hundred billion dollars that will be unfrozen as part of this agreement to fund aggression and terror in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere,” he tweeted.
It was the latest shot in transatlantic arguing over the issue between Netanyahu’s office and the White House, which has tried to positively present the plan that leaves all of Iran’s nuclear facilities intact and allows it to continue enriching uranium at a reduced rate, with the limitations expiring after a limited period of time.
As Netanyahu noted regarding funds, aside from the ICBM missile threat the deal also does not address Iran’s aggression in the region, which has seen it impose its influence in Lebanon through its terror proxy Lebanon, in Yemen via the Houthi Shi’ite militia, in Iraq through Shi’ite militias, and in Syria with Iranian troops and Hezbollah.
On Sunday, Netanyahu demanded that Iranian recognition of the Jewish state’s right to exist be written into last week’s agreement.
The following day US President Barack Obama rejected that call in an interview with US radio network NPR.
“The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel, is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms,” Obama said. “And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgement.”
Obama also admitted in the same interview that the deal would allow Iran by 2028 to have a “zero” breakout time, meaning it could obtain a nuclear weapon at any time it chose to do so.
It has been noted that a similar deal to the one sealed with Iran was signed with North Korea in 1994, and ended with the despotic regime achieving nuclear weapons a mere ten years later.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari celebrated the deal this week as a “diplomatic jihad” victory against the US, noting that Obama didn’t change Iranian policy but rather his own policy by effectively taking the military option off the table.
But Efraim Halevy, a former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, claimed on Tuesday that Israeli opposition to the emerging deal could run counter to the Jewish state’s interests.
“I think we find ourselves in a moment of national paranoia,” he told publicly-owned Channel One television. “It is not appropriate to our reality, our ability.”
“We are the strongest country in the Middle East, and the strongest country in the Middle East should not be saying every day that it is in danger of destruction,” he said. “Israel cannot be destroyed and it is about time that the citizens of Israel understand that, internalize it and behave appropriately.”
Halevy did not qualify how a nuclear-armed Iran, which has clearly declared its intentions to destroy Israel on numerous occasions, would not pose an existential threat.
That threat is viewed as being able to find expression either by Iran being able to launch a nuclear attack directly through ICBMs, or else smuggling nuclear-equipped missiles to its terror allies of Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border or Hamas in Gaza.