WASHINGTON — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon argued Monday that America’s nuclear deal with Iran was a mistake, citing Iran’s ballistic missile test last Wednesday as a reason why.
Ya’alon spoke at the Wilson Center before his meeting with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. He said Iran may decide to break out as a threat in the Middle East, as evidenced by Wednesday’s test. He does not expect the deal to change that, he said.
“The most important value that is missing in the Middle East is accountability,” Ya’alon said.
The deal with Iran restricts its nuclear program so it can continue to create nuclear energy but the path to creating a nuclear weapon is blocked. The deal mandates inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency in order to make sure Iran complies. The U.S. and the other five superpowers involved in the deal believe those inspections are enough to enforce the terms of the agreement.
Israel does not agree. According to Ya’alon, Iran will merely comply with the regulations while they recover from the economic sanctions the superpowers imposed during the development of the deal, then develop weapons at a later date.
He sees the deal as Iran’s temporary suspension of its nuclear program.
And nuclear or no, Ya’alon made it clear that Iran’s missile launch Wednesday unsettled Israel. Iran launched two missiles as part of a test, one of which had “Israel should be wiped off the Earth,” Fars News Agency, Iran’s semi-official news organization, reported.
“The regime is still a rogue one,” Ya’alon said of Iran’s leadership. “They have not changed their nature.”
When asked what he planned to discuss with Carter, Ya’alon said, “I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to ask him, but generally speaking there are at least three reasons to sanction Iran.”