|Posted on August 25, 2015 at 10:45 PM|
United States, Al-Monitor
It is hard to overstate the importance of the recorded confession by former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in which he reveals past discussions of a closed and confidential security forum concerning an eventual strike against Iran, aired by Channel 2 on Aug. 21. At this stage, clearing the ambiguity surrounding the plan to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities by one of its senior advocates is almost as important as renouncing Israel’s policy on its nuclear program. From Barak’s recorded comments, it appears that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu favored a military solution to the Iranian military nuclear threat over “peaceful means.” Two civilians and one military man — Ministers Moshe Ya'alon and Yuval Steinitz, members of the “Forum of Eight” and then-Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi — stopped Netanyahu, Barak and then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman from going to war with Iran and perhaps with the entire region. On another occasion, according to Barak, American military maneuvers conducted in the region prevented an Israeli military move against Iran. Barak’s disclosures call into question not only the judgment of the two Israeli leaders, turning a rumor about an Israeli decision to attack Iran into a quote straight from the mouth of one of the decision-makers, but also the credibility of the incumbent prime minister.
Original publication date: 8/25/2015
Associates of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak leaked tapes indicating that Barak supported an attack on Iran in 2012, but other sources suggest that he then changed his mind and was the person who actually blocked an eventual strike. No one, not at the Pentagon nor in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, needs Barak to confirm that Israel did, indeed, prepare itself for several long years to launch an assault on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. It is also no secret that the decisive years were from 2009 to 2012. Every summer, between July and September, during those years, the suspense index rose to new heights. According to analyses, the weather during those months was favorable for an assault, which was supposed to last several consecutive days. Even the differences of opinion in the “forum of eight,” the select group of senior ministers assembled by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to formulate strategy regarding Iran, were widely disseminated. (8/24)
Standing up against a reinvigorated Iran requires a strong regional alliance, and Israel will have to be a member of this new coalition, making a unique and substantial contribution to it. At the same time, however, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot remain unresolved. The status quo is unsustainable. The situation whereby the Palestinian people have no sovereignty and no state of their own lacks international legitimacy. That said, the Israeli people need to be convinced that a Palestinian state alongside Israel will give them more security, not less.
The Saudis should, therefore, add a “security annex” to their original peace proposal, adding an essential dimension to its basic concept — that is, the establishment of a framework for defense cooperation between Israel and the Arab states of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Such cooperation would include, among other elements, a joint center for counter-terrorism warfare coordination, unified efforts against the Islamic State and other extremist Islamist organizations, joint and coordinated action against Iranian regional subversion, a naval surveillance center for intercepting illegal arms shipments and smuggling to Iran's proxies and joint anti-ballistic missile defense based around Israeli systems.
Security cooperation would also include a joint space program, a joint project for solving Jordan's energy and water problems and a political-economic plan for the reconstruction and development of the Gaza Strip, disarming terrorist movements and restoring the Palestinian Authority there.
All this is premised, however, on an initial Israeli-Palestinian agreement based on the principle of “two states for two peoples” and the start of serious negotiations for ending the occupation and detailing a permanent status agreement. These measures would make the Middle East a safer place and constitute the most appropriate response to the Iranian expansionism spearheaded by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with President Hassan Rouhani’s Cabinet on Aug. 26, expressing support for the recent nuclear agreement but warning against the influence of "the enemy" in foreign countries.
On the comprehensive nuclear deal commonly referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was the result of two years of negotiations between Iran and six world powers, Khamenei said, “Concluding the nuclear negotiations is one of the very important accomplishments that was done, and we are hopeful that if there are issues or problems in this area, they are resolved.” Khamenei’s comments are designed to put to rest questions about his position on the nuclear deal. Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of Kayhan newspaper, had written Aug. 15 that Khamenei was “unhappy” with the deal. (8/26)
Key takeaway: The Supreme Leader lauded the government’s economic and political performance and demanded complete cooperation from regime officials in implementing the Resistance Economy. IRGC Major General Yayha Rahim Safavi claimed that Iran will receive the S-300 and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet to review the government’s performance and to reinforce cultural and economic priorities. Khamenei identified the economy as the most important priority and called for a coherent plan to fulfill policy requirements for the Resistance Economy. The Supreme Leader praised the Rouhani administration for overcoming economic stagnation and resolving the nuclear dispute. Khamenei, however, expressed concerns about the nuclear deal and urged regime officials to remain vigilant against plots hatched by the West to infiltrate and influence the Iranian nation.
Senior Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader IRGC Major General Safavi stated that Russia will deliver the S-300 and S-400 missile systems; however, he did not provide any further details on the arrangement with Moscow.
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