Sunday, August 7, 2016

Israel responds to Obama: Munich Agreement didn't prevent WWII - Elad Benari

by Elad Benari

Defense Ministry responds to claims by Obama that Israel believes the Iran nuclear deal was successful.

Israel's Defense Ministry on Friday responded to U.S. President Barack Obama's claims from a day earlier that the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the West had been successful in improving the security situation in the Middle East, and that even Israel acknowledges this fact.

"The Israeli defense establishment believes that agreements have value only if they are based on the existing realities, and have no value if the facts on the ground are completely opposite of those upon which the agreement rests," the statement read.

"The Munich Agreement did not prevent the Second World War and the Holocaust, precisely because their basic premise, that Nazi Germany could be a partner to some agreement, was incorrect and because the world's leaders at the time ignored the blunt remarks of Hitler and other Nazi leaders."

The Defense Ministry noted that Iran "announces clearly and openly that its goal is the destruction of Israel, and the report of the U.S. State Department published this year determined that it is in first place as a sponsor of global terrorism." The statement further added that therefore "the defense establishment, like the people of Israel and much of the world, understands that agreements such as the one signed between world powers and Iran not only are not useful, but also harm the uncompromising struggle which must be taken against a terrorist state like Iran.”

Obama, speaking at the Pentagon on Thursday, said the agreement “has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work.”

“And it's not just the assessment of our intelligence community. It's the assessment of the Israeli military and intelligence community,” he stressed. “The country that was most opposed to this deal acknowledges this has been a game-changer that Iran has abided by the deal that they no longer have the sort of short term breakout capacity that would allow them to develop nuclear weapons,” he claimed.

Obama's comments are not the first time that an American official has quoted Israeli security officials in justifying the nuclear deal.

Secretary of State John Kerry in February cited comments by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot as proof that the nuclear deal with Iran has improved Israel's security.

He was apparently referring to comments by the IDF Chief of Staff at the Institute for National Security Studies’ annual conference in Tel Aviv, where he said that although the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers contained “many risks,” it also featured "opportunities" for Israel.

Elad Benari


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