MESOP MIDEAST WATCH: Military option against Iran ‘on the table,’ public security minister warns

As the renewed Iranian nuclear talks appear to be at an impasse, Israeli officials underscore that preventing Iran from becoming a “threshold state” is a top priority.

By  ILH Staff ISRAEL HAYOM – 11-30-2021 –

A day after the negotiations to renew the Iranian nuclear deal restarted in Vienna, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev told Radio 103 on Tuesday that “It’s obvious the military option is on the table.”

In a separate interview to Army Radio, Alon Bar, Deputy Director General for Strategic Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, discussed the distance between Israel and the US’s stances when it came to the Iran issue, saying, “There are in-depth talks with the Americans, and there is distance between us. I don’t think that it’s right to stress this distance, especially since the US is an especially important country for us. The right thing for us to do is talk with them directly.”

Bar added, “Our influence on the world’s powerful nations doesn’t start the day the talks do, but with the contact we have had thus far. This influence is, of course, limited, but it exists. There is no choice other than to walk back the Iranian nuclear program. It would be wrong for us to despair and give up on the attempt to prevent Iran from securing enough enriched material [uranium] for a nuclear bomb, because that is definitely part of the military plan.”

IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ran Kochav also touched on the relaunched Iranian talks. In an interview to Kan 11 News, Kochav said, “I’m not going to get into diplomatic matters. As I’ve said in the past, we are prepared for all eventualities and we have stepped up preparedness on the matter. The military and operational questions are our top priority, both in terms of preventing Iran from entrenching itself to the north and preventing it from becoming a [nuclear] threshold state.”

After the first round of renewed talks on Monday, it appeared that any progress on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program was far off and the two sides seemed to be at an impasse. Work teams are expected to continue meeting this week to discuss technical points, but not the core issues of the dispute.