Israel's Benny Gantz (L) and Naftali Bennet. Undated

Israel's Benny Gantz (L) and Naftali Bennet.

Israeli Government Insists On Internal Unity Over Iran Nuclear Issue


Israel's defense minister on Sunday said policy on the Iranian nuclear talks was set by the government, not the security forces, after a newspaper reported that key Israeli generals favor a deal between Tehran and world powers.

The chiefs of military intelligence and strategic planning believe a revival of a 2015 deal that restricted Iran's nuclear programme would gain time for Israel to prepare an attack aimed at denying its arch-foe the means to make a nuclear weapon, top-selling Yedioth Ahronoth daily said on Friday.

While the Israeli security forces have a say on Iran policy, "it is the government echelon that makes the decisions," Defence Minister Benny Gantz tweeted.

"We will continue holding the open and deep dialogue behind closed doors only. Any other manner harms the State of Israel's security."

Gantz's rebuke was apparently also aimed at the Mossad spy service, which Yedioth said opposed any new Iran nuclear deal.

The European Union and Iran agreed on Saturday that the nuclear negotiations, bogged down for months, would resume soon.

Israel is not a party to the negotiations. But its concerns about the outcome - and its long-standing threats to take unilateral military action against Iran - carry weight in Western capitals.

Israel welcomed then US President Donald Trump's decision to quit the 2015 deal, deeming it insufficient. After Trump was succeeded by Joe Biden, Israeli leaders said they would not be bound by any new deal Washington might reach with Tehran.

Report by Reuters

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