Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Mike Herzog, said on Monday that no deal would put Iran in a box “unless there is a serious deterrence vis a vis Iran.” In a live interview with The Washington Post, he said that he would like to see that deterrence in place “with or without a deal.”

“The discussion between this deal and no deal is a difficult one because both options are unappealing, unfortunately,” said Herzog. “To me, the most critical element is not whether you do a deal and don’t do a deal. It’s whether you have deterrence vis a vis Iran. Iran is a predator state. Iran is a destabilizing factor in the region.”

“I certainly believe that if you show assertiveness vis a vis Iran, as Israel has shown in the last few years in the region, you will deter Iran,” he continued. “With all due respect, Iran is not an 800-pound gorilla that cannot be deterred.”

Asked how Israel would react should a deal be signed, he said that Israel’s leadership stated more than once that it is not part of the deal if there is a deal to be had “and therefore we maintain our options open.”

“We will build our capabilities to counter Iran; We will maintain our freedom of action and will decide in due time what action to take,” Herzog continued. “But of course, we are not going to sit idly by or be indifferent to the situation where Iran is legitimized as a nuclear threshold state.”

Asked what kind of elements he wished the deal would include, he said: “If I had to single out one element I would like to see a deal without sunsets [clauses], or if at all, sunsets in a very far distance. To do a deal only a few years, for us this is concerning.”

“In this New Deal, if you compare it to the original deal, in one sense you get less from Iran because the Iranian advances on the nuclear field can bring about a situation where a breakout time towards military-grade fissile material for a bomb is shortened considerably compared to the original deal because Iran advanced and manufactures new types of centrifuges that were not at its disposal at the time,” he said. “And this is a deal for a relatively short period of time.”

He said that lifting sanctions from the Islamic Republic would provide Tehran the funds for more destabilizing regional activities.

“Israel is concerned – and by the way, it’s not only Israel, also our neighbors in the region – that these funds will find their way to Iranian proxies, and we will feel it,” he said. “It will destabilize the region. So for all of these reasons, we are very much concerned this deal would not add stability but may be counterproductive.”

Source » jpost