Israel ‘will do what it has to do’ against nuclear Iran, says Bennett

Israel will do whatever it takes to protect itself against the existential Iranian threat, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Thursday, as world powers are expected to hold talks on November 29 in Vienna with Tehran on renewing the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We will not tire, we will be relentless, when we talk about the very existence of the Jewish state, we will do what we have to do,” Bennett said in a virtual speech at a US-based virtual conference by the group America Against a Nuclear Iran.

“Iran represents a strategic threat to the world and an existential threat to Israel, and they should not be allowed to get away with it.

“If Iran goes nuclear, it will get Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the entire Middle East will go nuclear. We have to keep up our pressure on Iran and we must stay united in our efforts to do so, ”Bennett said.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who served under the Trump administration, said she believed the Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was out of date.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett sits alongside Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as he speaks during his new government’s first weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on June 20, 2021 (Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND / POOL VIA REUTERS).

He accused the Biden government of abandoning America’s Middle Eastern allies in Iran and, specifically, of sending Saudi Arabia into the arms of Tehran.

“We should never go and give Iran concessions and play on their terms,” ​​but there should be a conversation with the Arab countries and Israel, Haley said.

“Israel is now contemplating how to deal with Iran without us, that is an incredible scenario, and they are not wrong in doing so. If I were advising Israel, I would say don’t count on the Biden administration to help you with Iran, because they are not going to be there. there, “he said.

Both Republicans and Democrats want to stop a nuclear Iran, but the Biden administration lacks bipartisan support for reviving the 2015 accord, Haley said. Like Israel, he does not believe that the 2015 agreement will prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who is under personal US sanctions for allegations of human rights abuses in his past as a judge, said Thursday that Iran seeks “the lifting of all US sanctions and neutralization of the sanctions, “as he issued an uncompromising tone later on. of the Vienna discussions.

“The negotiations we are considering are results-oriented. We will not leave the negotiating table … but we will not withdraw from the interests of our nation in any way, ”Raisi was quoted as saying by Iranian state television.

Under the 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers, Tehran halted its uranium enrichment program, a possible path to nuclear weapons, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions from the United States, the UN and the European Union.

But former US President Donald Trump resigned from the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran’s financial and oil sectors that have crippled its economy, prompting Tehran to violate the limits set by the pact on his nuclear work.

Despite six rounds of indirect talks, Tehran and Washington still disagree on what steps should be taken and when, the key questions being what nuclear limits Tehran will accept and what sanctions Washington will remove.

Separately, the commander-in-chief of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, said that US pressure on Iran had failed.

“The Americans have used all means, policies and strategies to surrender the Iranian nation … but the Islamic Republic has become stronger,” Salami said in a televised speech on the occasion of the siege of the US embassy in Tehran. after the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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