Jerusalem, Oct 3: Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Wednesday that although relations between Israel and the US were “excellent”, the two countries have disagreements on Iran.
Ya’alon made the remarks during a visit to a military base in northern Israel, following comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly in New York Tuesday.
Prior to his trip to the US, Netanyahu said that his aim was to “expose the truth” about Iran amid its overtures toward the US, and called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” in his speech at the UN.
He also said that Israel would not hesitate to act alone in a military fashion if necessary against the Iranian nuclear programme.
“Netanyahu laid out the exact reality about how we view the Iranian threat,” Ya’alon said Wednesday.
“That’s why it’s the obligation of the prime minister to showcase the exact situation…because in parallel to Rouhani’s sweet talk, Iran is operating terror in Afghanistan, Iraq… it funds, arms and trains the Hezbollah in Lebanon… and the centrifuges keep spinning,” he claimed.
“That’s why we say that we should stop the Iranian nuclear plan in any way possible.”
He added that the sanctions were the one of ways to bring Iran to the negotiations table in the first place, and that they should be carried on.
Israel and Iran have been enemies since the 1979 Islamic revolution. In the past several years, Netanyahu and other hawkish leaders focused on what they termed “the Iranian threat” as the biggest danger to the existence of the state of Israel.
Israeli officials are worried about the recent diplomatic advancements between Iran and the US, saying that Iran is using a “smiles campaign” in order to buy time and carry on with its nuclear programme.
However, during a meeting between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama Monday in the White House, Obama assured Netanyahu that Israel will be part of the talks and that Iran would not achieve nuclear weapons.