Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he is prepared to accept a scenario in which the US manages to revive the Iran nuclear deal, in a rare comment from a senior government official not rejecting the multilateral accord out of hand.
“The current US approach of putting the Iran nuclear program back in a box, I’d accept that,” Gantz told Foreign Policy in an interview published Tuesday, employing rhetoric used by the Biden administration to describe the goal of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
While Israeli defense officials not in government have indicated a degree of tolerance for the JCPOA in the past, that sentiment has not extended to public officials, and Gantz appears to be the most senior cabinet member to reflect it on the record.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett assured US President Joe Biden at the White House last month that he will not publicly campaign against Washington’s efforts to coax Iran back to the 2015 accord brokered by former president Barak Obama and deserted by his predecessor Donald Trump in 2018, Israeli officials said. That was a departure from Bennett’s predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, who campaigned aggressively against the JCPOA and even accepted an invitation to address a joint session of Congress where he unsuccessfully lobbied lawmakers against the deal.
Bennett, however, has also made it clear that he opposes the nuclear deal and has not publicly stated that its resurrection is something that Israel could live with, as Gantz did in his Tuesday interview.
The defense minister was also clear though that he wanted to see a “viable US-led plan B” that includes significant political, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Tehran imposed jointly by the US, Europe, Russia, and China, if talks in Vienna seeking a US-Iran return to the JCPOA fail to bear fruit.
“We have to connect China in this too, Asia has to play a role,” Gantz said, noting Iran’s growing economic ties with the Far East. “Israel has no ability to lead a real plan B, we can’t put together an international economic sanctions regime. This has to be led by the US.”
“Iran has to fear that the US and its partners are serious,” he added.
Gantz also indicated to Foreign Policy that Israel had its own “plan C” that would involve military action.
“If push comes to shove, we’ll get there,” Gantz said, before switching from Hebrew to English in order to add, “we’re not America, but we have our capabilities.”
He went on to warn that if world powers fail to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, it’ll lead to a nuclear arms race. “Other states won’t just sit quietly… They’ll buy it directly off the shelf from Pakistan or whoever they can.”
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
Netanyahu: “This Is A Dangerous Mistake”
The comments from Benny Gantz show a dangerous shift in Israel’s new “Government of Change.”
In response to the comments of Bennet and Gantz, Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Social Media to rebuke their change in stance, writing:
Netanyahu was extremely vocal about the dangers the Iran Nuclear Deal posed to the Jewish State in his time in office.
During his trip to the United States in 2015, Netahyhu addressed both Congress and the United Nations to warn of the ramification that reckless JCPOA would bring.
In his powerful speech to the UN, Netanyahu condemned the deal and explained that it would “un-muzzle” and “unleash” the Islamic Republic as well as fuel its aggression:
This deal doesn’t make peace more likely. By fueling Iran’s aggressions with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it makes war more likely.
Unleashed and un-muzzled, Iran will go on the prowl, devouring more and more prey. In the wake of the nuclear deal, Iran is spending billions of dollars on weapons and satellites. You think Iran is doing that to advance peace? You think hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief and fat contracts will turn this rapacious tiger into a kitten? If you do, you should think again.
I have long said that the greatest danger facing our world is the coupling of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. And I’m gravely concerned that the nuclear deal with Iran will prove to be the marriage certificate of that unholy union.
Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country. Murder my people. And the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been absolutely nothing! Utter silence! Deafening silence.
Perhaps you can now understand why Israel is not joining you in celebrating this deal. If Iran’s rulers were working to destroy your countries, perhaps you’d be less enthusiastic about the deal. If Iran’s terror proxies were firing thousands of rockets at your cities, perhaps you’d be more measured in your praise. And if this deal were unleashing a nuclear arms race in your neighborhood, perhaps you’d be more reluctant to celebrate.
This news comes as a new report based on information from UN nuclear watchdog IAEA stated that Iran could be able to obtain a nuclear weapon in as soon as one month. Furthermore, it is possible based on the current numbers that Iran could have up to three nuclear weapons in 5 months.
“Overall, the IAEA’s latest report shows Iran’s rapidly advancing nuclear activities and steps to limit IAEA monitoring, while inspectors have a diminishing ability to detect Iranian diversion of assets to undeclared facilities,” the report warned. “The IAEA is sounding an alarm to the international community accordingly.”
Biblically, there are two future events described in Scripture, that should be noted here.
First, in Isaiah 17:1 we read that, in the not too distant future Damascus the capital city in Syria will be completely destroyed becoming “a ruinous heap.”
Iran has been hiding weaponry to use against the Jewish State across the war-torn country; specifically stockpiling it in Damascus. This has caused multiple strikes to be conducted by Israel at weapons depots in the region. A nuclear Iran, or a soon-to-be nuclear Iran, could spark a massive response from Israel.
Although it is not stated in Scripture how the destruction of Damascus will come about, Syria has become a hotbed of activity in the Middle East that those familiar with Bible Prophecy have been watching very closely.
Second, in Ezekiel 38-39, the Bible speaks of a coming war in which Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others, will attack the Jewish State. The alliance of countries will attempt to invade Israel from the north, which will result in God’s direct intervention.
We are already witnessing this Ezekiel 38 alliance of nations cooperating like never before, with Russia, Iran, and Turkey all seemingly confederate together against the Jewish State and positioned in Syria.
The destruction of Damascus could also be a catalyst to the Ezekiel 38-39 war in which Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others, with weaponry supplied by Russia, attempt to attack Israel.