Israel has suggested to US President Joe Biden’s administration an alternative to the nuclear deal with Iran, sources in the US and Tel Aviv revealed on Thursday.
During a press conference on Sunday with Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken asked how Tel Aviv would stop Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, when at its current enrichment pace, it would be able to do so within weeks.
Bennett said Iran can be deterred from enriching uranium to the military level of 90% if it knows the United States and European countries will ramp up sanctions to the level they’ve been imposed on Russia after invading Ukraine.
The PM also told Blinken that the nuclear deal will only be “a band-aid” solution for just a few years. At the same time, it will give Iran billions of dollars that it would use for its regional malign activities and to arm its proxies, a senior State Department official and an Israeli senior official said.
“It is us here in the region that will have to deal with that afterward,” Bennett warned, according to the officials.
He also protested the notion of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) being delisted as a terrorist group.
“The idea that this organization will be removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations blacklist is very disturbing and not just to us,” he said. “We are still hoping and working toward preventing this from happening.”
Blinken, for his part, tried to reassure Israel by affirming that “there is no daylight” between the US and Israel on the efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, as well as countering its threats to the region.
He added that the US will maintain that stance regardless of whether a new Iran nuclear deal is reached.
“Deal or no deal, we will continue to work together and with other partners to counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the region,” he stressed.