Israel’s strategy for Iran nuclear talks: ‘Comply...or else’

Israeli Air Force T-6A Texan aircraft (Reuters / Amir Cohen)
Israel is calling on its allies to threaten Iran convincingly with military action during the current talks in Moscow, media reports say. Tel Aviv believes Tehran does not take the threat of war seriously yet.

­“The Iranians think this is just a warning. That people are not serious enough,” Israeli President Shimon Peres told CNN as the nuclear talks on the Iranian nuclear program are held in Moscow. He added that “if the Iranians will understand seriously that this [military action] is an option, maybe we shall not need it. If they think this is a bluff, then it may lead to a war.”

“The warning must be credible, the sanctions must be credible. So let’s first of all use the non-military means, indicating to the Iranians, ‘gentlemen, better you agree with a non-military confrontation than look for other options,'”
Peres said.

The Israeli president accused Iran of building a nuclear weapon and said that “time is beginning to be out” for Iran.

Earlier, The Jerusalem Post newspaper cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying that Israeli government asked its allies to lend more credibility to the military threats against Iran.

“We would like the international community to say that these are our demands, these are our sanctions, comply…or else,” the official is quoted as saying. “Just as we think the sanctions have to be beefed up, this position must be clearly stated.”

The news comes as the P5+1 group consisting of China, France, Russia, the US, the UK and Germany is meeting Iranian nuclear negotiators in Moscow to discuss the conflict over Iran’s atomic work. Israel and its western allies suspect that Tehran is enriching uranium in a bid to secretly create a nuclear weapon. Iran insists that it needs it for civilian uses only.

The Moscow meeting is the third round of nuclear talks over a period of three months. It is aimed at defusing the tension over the Iranian nuclear program. The US and EU have issued strangling economic sanctions against the Iranian oil industry to gain leverage over Tehran. Meanwhile Israel has repeatedly said that it will bomb Iranian nuclear facilities sooner than allow it to build a nuclear weapon. No solid proof of intention to create a bomb on the part of Iran has ever been publicly presented.