Gantz: Israel Can ‘Live With’ New Iran Nuclear Deal

YERUSHALAYIM -
Defense Minister Benny Gantz (C). (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Israel can live with a new nuclear deal between Iran and western countries, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in an interview to Foreign Policy this week.

“The current U.S. approach of putting the Iran nuclear program back in a box, I’d accept that,” Gantz said, but noted that Israel would want to see the U.S. lead a “viable Plan B” if negotiations with Iran failed.

Gantz said the Plan B should include political, diplomatic, and economic pressure on Iran from the U.S., Europe, Russia, and China.

According to Gantz, Iran needs to know that the U.S. and its partners are “serious,” and fear them.

At the end of August, President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at their first meeting in Washington that diplomacy was his first option vis-à-vis Iran, but he would consider other options if his effort to revive the nuclear deal failed.

“We are going to discuss the threat from Iran and our commitment to ensure Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. We’re putting diplomacy first and seeing where that takes us. But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options,” Biden said without elaborating.

He stressed to Bennet the U.S. commitment to ensuring Iran never developed a nuclear weapon.

Bennet seemed pleased with the pledge, saying, “I was happy to hear your clear words that Iran will never be able to acquire a nuclear weapon. You emphasized that you’ll try the diplomatic route but there are other options if that doesn’t work out.”