by: Ilse Strauss
Wednesday, 1 July 2020 | The Islamic Republic will under no circumstances be allowed to go nuclear. In fact, the US is prepared to take military action to put a stop the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions. This was US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook’s pledge yesterday during a visit to Jerusalem.
“We’ve made very clear, the president has, that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon,” Hook said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 13.
“The Israeli people and the American people and the international community should know that President Trump will never allow them to have a nuclear weapon,” Hook said, adding that “the military option is always on the table.”
Hook, the proponent and engineer of the Trump Administration’s strategy of applying maximum pressure on the Iranian regime, stopped in the Israeli capital at the tail end of a Middle East tour to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to rally support between these states and Israel for a US initiative to prolong a 13-year United Nations weapons embargo on Tehran. The embargo is set to expire in October.
Hook spelled out the consequences of the UN Security Council failing to extend the embargo. “In four short months, Iran will be able to freely import fighter jets, attack helicopters, warships, submarines, large-caliber artillery systems and missiles of certain ranges.
“Iran will then be in a position to export these weapons and their technologies to their proxies, such as Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, [Shi’ite] militia groups in Iraq, Syria militant networks in Bahrain and to the Houthis in Yemen,” Hook continued.
“The last thing that this region needs is more Iranian weapons,” he added. “This is a threat to Israel’s security because no country sponsors more terrorism and anti-Semitism in the world than the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
There is, however, a positive consequence of the threat from Tehran, Hook added. “One nice thing I’ll say about Iran’s foreign policy is that is has helped to bring together the Arabs and the Israelis…When you see the Arabs and Israelis agree so strongly on something, I think people need to listen carefully.”
Hook met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz on separate occasions yesterday. During their meeting, Netanyahu called for stringent measures to curb Tehran before it is too late.
“I believe it’s time to implement snapback sanctions,” the prime minister said. “I don’t think we can afford to wait. We should not wait for Iran to start its breakout to a nuclear weapon, because then it will be too late for sanctions.”
Warning against Iranian duplicity, Netanyahu said Tehran “deliberately deceives the international community. It lies all the time. It lies on solemn pledges and commitments that it took before the international community. It continues its secret program to develop nuclear weapons. It continues its secret program to develop the means to deliver nuclear weapons.”
According to Netanyahu, Jerusalem remains “absolutely resolved to prevent Iran from entrenching itself militarily in our immediate vicinity.”
Breaking with Israel’s usual no-comment policy regarding operations conducted on foreign soil, the prime minister admitted that Israel undertakes “repeated and forceful military action against Iran and its proxies in Syria and elsewhere if necessary.”
Netanyahu also echoed Hook’s vow, saying that Israel would “do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.” Addressing Hook, he added: “I know that’s your position as well.”
Cementing Jerusalem and Washington’s close ties, Hook told Netanyahu that the US and Israel sees “eye-to-eye” when it comes to Iran.
Posted on July 1, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 1, 2020)
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