In a 180-degree spin from the way former United States President Donald Trump dealt with Iran, the Biden Administration is about to restart a new round of nuclear talks, reports the Daily Wire.
Many argue that America’s participation in formal talks with Iran emboldens bad behavior. Iran continues to wreak havoc in the region: from threatening ships in the Strait of Hormuz and sending missiles and troops to Syria (which threaten Israel), to bombings in Iraq and attacking U.S. troops.
Iran’s particular focus is the destruction of Israel, which Iranian leaders have referred to as “Little Satan.”
The Jerusalem Post reports that on Saturday, Iranian Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesperson for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces, reaffirmed Iran’s military goals.
“We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter,” Shekarchi told a news agency. “We want to destroy Zionism in the world.”
The Jerusalem Post also noted that Shekarchi threatened nations that have supported Israel, calling out “Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel.”
Further, in an apparent rebuke of Saudi Arabia for strengthening ties to Israel in recent years, the General declared that diplomacy on any level with Israel was “intolerable.”
The provocations and declarations lead many to question why the Biden Administration has eased restrictions on Iran and is about to enter into formal discussions with the belligerent nation.
“[T]he mood among negotiators is somber if not outright gloomy, and the rhetoric has gone from tough to strident. Both Washington and Tehran appear willing to risk failure, and potentially much worse, to the chagrin of European and other countries shepherding the latest diplomacy.“
Many experts note that though there are similarities between the current situation and past efforts to negotiate a nuclear-free Iran, the gamechanger is the fact that Iran is likely very close to perfecting a nuclear weapon and delivery system.
In August, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that Iran was “only around 10 weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon.”
That assessment was echoed in a New York Times report which noted that the “International Atomic Energy Agency [and] United Nations’ atomic inspection group, say that…Tehran has gained the capability to produce the fuel needed for a single nuclear warhead within a month or so.”
This prompted Israel to commit almost $1.5 billion in support of a first-strike plan to address what they view as an existential threat. Aerial training exercises have been common in recent weeks.
Israel has pledged not to strike unless red lines are crossed and Iran threatens its national security interests. Iran will not provide similar assurances.
The former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was an ardent supporter of America’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Accord brokered by President Obama, and the Trump-led isolation and economic embargo on Iran.
Current Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was open to easing restrictions imposed by Trump, but when speaking to the United Nations in September, he warned that Israel was “prepared to do whatever it takes to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”
Israel is small, about the size of New Jersey, but since it was reborn as a nation in 1948, it has been the focal point for threats and military action in the region. Some see this as the fulfillment of words from the biblical prophet Zechariah, who wrote about 2,500 years ago that Jerusalem and Israel would become a “stumbling stone.”
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