Iran’s nuclear ambitions and aspirations of regional hegemony fuel its desire to undermine the other regimes in the Persian Gulf, former Mossad intelligence agency Director Yossi Cohen said Sunday.
Speaking at an Abu Dhabi conference marking the first anniversary of the historic Abraham Accords, Cohen further warned that “Iran poses a bigger threat to the United Arab Emirates than to Israel.”
Cohen’s remarks came against the backdrop of conflicting reports concerning the progress Iran has been making toward becoming a nuclear-threshold state, as well as on its willingness to resume negotiations on a nuclear deal with the U.S. and European powers.
The Islamic republic insists that its nuclear efforts are strictly for civilian and peaceful purposes, but Israeli intelligence – shared with world powers and the International Atomic Energy Agency – shows that Tehran has and continues to maintain a nuclear military program. Israel deems the latter an existential threat and has stated that it will not allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state.
Iran’s violations of the 2015 nuclear deal – officially the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – have rendered it hollow. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal. President Joe Biden has stated that he seeks to formulate a new deal with Iran, stressing he plans to exhaust all diplomatic options vis-à-vis Iran before devising a “Plan B.”
Also on Sunday, Cohen dismissed the rumors that he plan a political career, possibly as the Likud’s candidate in the post-Binyamin Netanyahu era.
“I’m a businessman, I’m not eyeing politics,” he told a reporter at the conference.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Amir Hayek also spoke at the conference and revealed that Yerushalayim and Abu Dhabi were exploring signing a free trade agreement – a move that has significant diplomatic implications.