Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz. (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/Flash90) Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz. (Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/Flash90)

“If Iran gets nuclear weapons, it’s a different world for decades. This is the main threat to global security and should be the priority.”

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz expressed profound concern over the upcoming negotiations between Iran and the West, advising that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Speaking to the press in Jerusalem upon his return from Washington – where he participated in talks with the US administration, along with senior representatives of American and Israeli intelligence services –  Steinitz reiterated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s caution to the global powers against finalizing a dangerous deal with the Islamic Republic.

He also warned – as did Netanyahu last week – that the current focus on the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) has been taking world attention away from the Iranian threat.

“Although it is important to defeat IS, if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it’s a different world for decades,” Steinitz declared. “This is the main threat to global security and should be the priority.”

A serious effort to stop the Iranian nuclear program should not interfere with the war against IS, he added.

Is EU Foreign Policy Chief Rushing into a Deal?

EU policy chief Catherine Ashton steps down from her position at the end of the year. A number of commentators have suggested that she might be rushing to make a deal before the end of her term. Seemingly to this effect, Steinitz stated:

“We appreciate Catherine Ashton’s efforts, but the Iranians might tend to believe that if somebody has to finish his job on this date, then somebody will have extra motivation to try to conclude a deal. I hope this is not the case.”

Failure or success is determined not by the conclusion of a deal, he said, stressing the need for Western leaders to stand by strong principles and not to cave in to Iranian demands.

According to Steinitz, Iran has shown no flexibility to date. As for the moderate image portrayed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in comparison with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his predecessor, nothing in essence has changed, he said.

Steinitz is scheduled to fly to New York this Saturday evening to attend a UN conference and meet with foreign ministers of the P5+1 countries, namely, the US, Great Britain, France, Russia and China (permanent members of the UN Security Council) plus Germany.

Written by: United with Israel Staff
(With files from Israel National News and The Jerusalem Post)