A senior Israeli official has told Iran International that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent visits to Europe is to convey the message that Israel would act alone against Iran if need be.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Friday that Netanyahu's meetings with European leaders were aimed at reassuring them that Israel would do whatever it deems necessary against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
“Recent trips to some European countries and meetings with the leaders of these countries are both a message for Europe and a direct message for the Iranian government," the source said, noting that Tehran has "received" this message.
On the backdrop of tensions over his government’s controversial overhaul of Israel’s judicial system, Netanyahu held meetings with Germany's aders, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on his one-day trip to Berlin on Thursday where they talked about concerns over Iran’s fast-paced nuclear enrichment.
Israel will "do what it has to do, even alone" in the face of Iran's nuclear threat, the source said, adding that Netanyahu urged Schultz in their meeting to confront Iran with more strength and seriousness.
Moreover, the Israeli official told Iran International that thanks to Mossad operations inside Iran, progress in Tehran’s nuclear program with military potential was pushed back for seven years, but currently Tehran has passed serious red lines.
The official added that Israel and Germany are very close in finalizing a deal for the sale of the Arrow 3 -- or Hetz 3 in Hebrew -- exoatmospheric hypersonic anti-ballistic missile system to Berlin. The system is jointly developed and produced by Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing under the management of the Israeli Ministry of Defense's "Homa" (rampart) administration and the US Missile Defense Agency.
As he stood with Scholz at the Holocaust memorial Platform 17 in Berlin, Netanyahu appeared to compare Iran with the Nazis, and spoke of the necessity of halting catastrophe in its early stages. “The main lesson we have learned is that when you are faced with such evil, you have to obstruct the evil designs early on to prevent catastrophe,” he said.
Netanyahu has time and again threatened military action against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program as it enriches uranium closer to weapons-grade levels. On March 9, Netanyahu told Iran International that Tehran is “dangerously moving forward” in its nuclear program, claiming that he returned to the government primarily to make sure that Iran cannot become a nuclear “threshold power.”
However, German officials also criticized Netanyahu for rejecting a compromise proposal by Israeli President Isaac Herzog for overhauling the legal system. Voicing concern about the planned overhaul, Scholz hailed efforts by Israel’s figurehead to seek a “broad basic consensus.”
Iranian Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council meets the Saudi Minister of State and National Security Adviser Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, and China's Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi, in Beijing, China, March 10, 2023.
Netanyahu met with Italian premier Giorgia Meloni last week when both both called for bolstering bilateral ties. His meeting with Meloni came just after Iran and Saudi Arabia announced a resumption of diplomatic ties, a development that Netanyahu was widely criticized at home for failing to prevent.
Head of Israel’s National Security Council Tzachi Hanegbi told Iran International earlier in the week that the rapprochement between Tehran and Riyadh has nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program. He described the agreement as a way to prevent the Islamic Republic from arming Yemen’s Houthis against the Saudi-led coalition, noting that Riyadh itself is worried about Tehran’s nuclear enrichment at weapons-grade.
On March 13, Iranian diplomat Kourosh Ahmadi said in an interview with Etemad Online that Europe and the United States probably welcome the breakthrough because it makes it less likely for Iran to disrupt the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf in case of an Israeli attack on its nuclear installations. He added that the agreement between Tehran and Riyadh will lead to a reduction in urgency for the US to supply arms to Persian Gulf Arab states as they would be now less concerned about possible threats from Iran.