The former head of Israel’s domestic security service in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday expressed support for the U.S.-led talks with Iran over its nuclear program, saying, “The American policy is a policy of wisdom.”
“In my eyes, American policy is not coming out of weakness. It comes out of power,” said former Shin Bet chief Carmi Gillon.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued “four strong statements over 24 hours on Thursday and Friday,” according to the New York Times, denouncing news that the P5+1 (the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany) is close to an interim agreement with Iran to rein in its nuclear program. Netanyahu said the potential agreement, the details of which have yet to be finalized, is “the deal of the century” for Iran and “a very dangerous and bad deal” for the international community.
But it doesn’t appear that Netanyahu’s view has widespread support among Israel’s security establishment. While Gillon praised the U.S. Iran policy, others like former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin and former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy have indicated that they’re keeping the door open on the P5+1 talks with Iran. In fact, Yadlin said Netanyahu is “crying wolf too early,” the Times reports:
“It seems like he thinks that this is the final agreement — it is not,” said Amos Yadlin, the director of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “The real judgment of whether it’s a bad deal or an acceptable deal will be in the end of the negotiating period.”
Mr. Yadlin said the prime minister seemed to be “crying wolf too early,” adding, “You should keep the wolf for the final agreement.”
Gillon told the Sun-Times that “we should … be very careful, be suspicious … but you can’t have a one way diplomacy.”
“The big question is what kind of sanctions and how many of them you are going to release now,” he said. “I think it should be minimal. It should go side by side. If they stop the process then you take some of the sanctions [and] you move to another step [and] take the other sanctions.”
The world powers and Iran were in Geneva on Saturday trying to iron out the contours of an interim agreement, but talks have stalled due to French concerns about whether the plan does enough to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.