Israel will Protect Itself against Iran's Nukes, if the World Does Nothing

Israel will Protect Itself against Iran's Nukes, if the World Does Nothing

By Yehudit Garmaise

President Isaac Herzog told incoming US ambassador Thomas Nides today that Israel will take military action, if necessary, to “protect itself,” if the international community fails to stop Iran from creating nuclear weapons.

Israel has lobbied intensively, in past years, for the U.S. and other Western allies to halt Iran's threats of nuclear proliferation, which Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, with whom Nides also met today, described to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week as a form of “nuclear blackmail" against Israel. 

Herzog made his comments during a traditionally sedate ceremony in which he accepted the credentials of Nides, who just arrived in Israel six days ago, at the his residence at the Beit Hanasi in Yerushaylim.

Herzog called the Iran threat “the greatest challenge Israel and the United States face.”

“We are closely following the international community’s recent negotiations with Iran,” said President Herzog. “Israel will welcome a comprehensive, diplomatic solution that permanently solves the Iranian nuclear threat.”

“In the case of a failure to achieve such a solution, Israel is keeping all options on the table and it must be said that if the international community does not take a vigorous stance on this issue: Israel will do so. Israel will protect itself,” warned Herzog, who is just one of the many Israeli officials who insist that restoring the 2015 nuclear deal will leave Iran on a path to create nuclear weapons.

Nides said that the two countries will work closely to counter the threat Iran poses to Israel and the region, and that the US is committed to ensuring that Iran “never develops a nuclear weapon.”

Diplomatic talks with Iran had broken down on Friday after Blinken said Tehran “does not seem to be serious” about disarmament. 

Over the weekend, the international delegations returned to their national capitals and are expected to return to Vienna, Austria this week to resume diplomatic discussions.

After landing in Israel six days ago, Nides described first coming to Israel as a 15-year-old as a “longtime dream.” 

Nides promised to “work tirelessly to further strengthen Israel’s longstanding peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, as well as to build on the great work of the Abraham Accords, which were brokered by former President Donald Trump.

Nides shares “the firm commitment to security, economic prosperity, and democracy for both our nations,” he told Israel’s president.

Nides and Herzog ended their conversation by together lighting the candles for the eighth night of Chanukah.

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