Israeli leaders are deeply worried that the agreement with Iran will encourage and assist the Islamic Republic in expanding and financing terror in the Middle East and around the world.
Israel responded with anger and concern to the Kremlin’s announcement on Monday that Russia has lifted its ban on the delivery of the sophisticated S-300 air defense missile system to Iran.
Israeli officials drew a direct line between Russia’s controversial decision and the framework nuclear deal agreed upon between Iran and the P5+1 powers, which was supposed to lead to the lifting of the crippling economic sanctions on Iran’s economy.
“It is a bad deal, a very bad deal,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Monday during the dedication ceremony for the national police academy. “It is a deal that leaves Iran in possession of the capability to arm itself with nuclear weapons, that fills its coffers with a lot of money and that not only enables it to continue its terrorism and aggression in the Middle East and around the world, but does not even demand that it stop doing so.”
Netanyahu said the negotiations and framework agreement are emboldening the Islamic Republic to proceed with its regional aggression and expansionism. “Iran draws encouragement from the concessions that it is receiving from the major powers. The message that Iran is receiving from this is that it is not being called upon to halt its aggression, that it can continue and even increase this aggression, and this is exactly what it is doing. It has been doing so in recent months, in recent weeks and in recent days; it is doing so throughout the Middle East, from Iraq to Yemen. It is doing so in Lebanon and on the border with the Golan Heights. It is grasping the Middle East with arms of terror and blood.”
Iran is receiving international legitimacy to continue its belligerent actions, and when the sanctions are lifted it will receive billions of dollars to finance its war and terrorism machines, Netanyahu warned.
“Before our very eyes an absurd reality is taking shape in which the key to our fate and the future of the Middle East is liable to be delivered into the hands of the fanatical Iranian regime. An agreement full of holes with Iran will not ensure regional stability; a vigorous and resolute policy that prevents it from arming itself with nuclear weapons and compels it to halt its takeover of other nations would.”
Israel’s Intelligence Minister: Damage Already Done
Intelligence Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz added that regardless of the final outcome of an agreement and its effect on Iran’s nuclear program, the damage has already been done.
“Even as Iran disavows article after article in the framework agreement that was announced last week, the international community is beginning to ease restrictions on it. This is the direct result of the legitimacy that Iran is receiving from the nuclear deal being made with it. This also proves that the economic momentum in Iran that will come in the wake of the lifting of the sanctions will be exploited for armaments and not used for the welfare of the Iranian people,” Steinitz said on Monday.
“Instead of demanding that Iran desist from the terrorist activity that it is carrying out in the Middle East and throughout the world, it is being allowed to arm itself with advanced weapons that will only increase its aggression,” Steinitz charged.
If Iran does in fact obtain the surface-to-air missiles, an aerial attack on Iran by the US or Israel will become a much more complex and dangerous task.
The S-300 is one of the most advanced air defense systems in the world, designed to intercept aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles.
By: Max Gelber
Staff Writer, United With Israel
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