Accessibility links

Breaking News

Israeli Ex-Official Urges Global Powers To Be 'More Determined' To Halt Iranian Nukes

Israeli political scientist Yaakov Amidror served as national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until 2013. (file photo)

A former Israeli national security adviser says global powers negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran should be "more determined" to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Yaacov Amidror, who served as national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until 2013, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that Israel would support a "good agreement" that would prevent Iran from accessing nuclear weapons but will speak up against a "bad deal."

Iranian officials have said repeatedly that the country's nuclear activities are peaceful and that nuclear weapons are un-Islamic.

Amidror said Israel is "much more sensitive" than the United States about Tehran's nuclear activities because of its proximity to Iran and its proxies.

"We are in the Middle East, we are very close to Iran, Hizbullah is behind our borders," he said.

Amirdor warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a danger not only to Israel but to the whole region.

The former Israeli official, who is currently a senior fellow at the Israeli Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, claimed that the current agreement that is being discussed with Iran is "not strong enough and not good enough" to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany are seeking an agreement with Tehran that would rein in its nuclear program, which Western governments fear is aimed at producing weapons, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

In talks being held behind closed doors, the six powers and Iran are seeking a political framework by the end of March and a full deal by June 30.

'Profound' Relations

Washington complained last week that Israeli officials have disclosed details from private U.S. briefings to publicly attack the American position in the negotiations.

"We see that there is a continued practice of cherry-picking specific pieces of information and using them out of context to distort the negotiating position of the United States," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on February 18.

Amidror says Israel should not disclose sensitive information it receives from the United States.

"If we are leaking, we're making a big mistake," said Amirdor, adding that the United States and Israel enjoy "very good" relations despite disagreements over the nuclear talks with Iran.

He added: "At the end of the day relations between states, mainly between the United States and Israel, are not based just on personal relations between the prime minister and the president, although they speak a lot. It is more profound."

Netanyahu is expected to criticize the U.S. policy toward Iran in a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on March 3.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said that he will not invite Netanyahu to the White House, saying it would not be appropriate for the two to meet so close to Israel's parliamentary elections on March 17.

With reporting by Keyvan Hosseini of RFE/RL's Radio Farda
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.