"Today the world has become a more dangerous place, because the most dangerous regime in the world took another step towards achieving the most dangerous weapon in the world."
"If a nuclear suitcase blows up five years from now in New York or Madrid, it will be because of the deal that was signed this morning.
"There is still a long campaign ahead of us. We will continue to act in every possible way.
"It is important that the world knows: Israel will not be committed to a deal that endangers its very existence."
These comments came soon after he had made similar statements in an interview with Army Radio, declaring:
"Israel is not engaged by the Geneva accord. Iran is threatening Israel and Israel has the right to defend itself." (Emphasis added here and above.)
And Finance Minister Yair Lapid lamented to Army Radio:
"You stand and shout out until you're blue in the face, and you try to understand why they're not listening. The world wanted an agreement." (Emphasis added)
While Minister of Intelligence and International Relations Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said:
“Despite the disappointment we will continue to stick to our position and to work with our friends in the United States and around the world toward a comprehensive solution.”
But whatever Steinitz's words about working with friends towards a comprehensive solution, I trust he is not holding his breath.
The working assumption here in Israel, where most people support Netanyahu's position, is that ultimately we will, and must, hit Iran. This does not mean tomorrow, when Iran is watching and on guard. It means when our prime minister and his military advisers deem that the time is right.
There is no question but that our hitting Iran now is far more complex from a diplomatic perspective - for the world will accuse us of having intervened with war when the international community was on the brink of resolving everything peacefully. There are some analysts suggesting that Netanyahu might wait out the six months, until after the "interim" period that is supposed to be followed by a final deal but which is doomed to failure.
With a heavy heart I pray that Netanyahu will cry, "Damn the interim agreement," follow his own counsel and act as he believes he must. I'm reading in some sources tonight that with all his condemnation, Netanyahu has held off from announcing he will attack (notice, for example, Steinitz's statement about working with friends to strengthen the final deal). The implication here us that he does not intend to attack. But this is plain foolishness. If and when we do hit, there will be no advance notice.
Please understand that the "modest" reductions in sanctions that the Obama administration spoke of will amount to $7 billion in sanctions relief -- not small potatoes -- in return for a temporary limit by Iran in its nuclear program to low grade enrichment only and without the need for any destruction of equipment. Iran, that is, will retain breakout capacity.
What is more, "former Iranian Chamber of Commerce head Alinaqi Khamoushi was quoted in the semi-official Fars News agency saying the Obama administration had allowed Iran to access $8 billion of funds stored in the US.
"Washington froze billions of dollars in Iranian assets in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution."
~~~~~~~~~~ As Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon observed from Canada, where he was attending a conference:
"[the deal] allows Iran to enter the family [of] nations despite being the most active and flourishing activator of terrorism in the world, which sends its deadly and uncurbed deadly arms across the globe, first and foremost against Western states...
"To leave in the regime's hands capabilities for continuing the nuclear program means that the world today is a less safe place. Instead of rolling the program back, the regime in Tehran has gained time, which will allow it on the one hand to seek a nuclear bomb, and on the other, breathing space due to the lightening of sanctions." (Emphasis added)
If you want to know how thoroughly Obama intends to embrace Iran within the family of nations, consider this startling news tonight:
"Having overseen an interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program, the Obama administration now intends to try to involve Iran in wider Middle East diplomacy, including an attempt to find a solution to the Syrian civil war, Israeli television reported Sunday night." (Emphasis added)
Iran, the biggest purveyor of terrorism in the world, involved in Middle East diplomacy. How do you wrap your head around this, or, better, around the reality that Obama apparently thinks this is a peachy keen idea??
More coming soon...