At an event today hosted by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, Naftali Bennett, Israeli Minister of Economy, Religious Services and Jerusalem & Diaspora Affairs, delivered an address on Israel’s economy and security in a changing Middle East. Tamara Cofman Wittes, Saban Center director and senior fellow, moderated a question and answer session with Minister Bennett following his formal remarks. During part of the Q&A, Wittes and Bennett engaged in a dialogue about Iran’s nuclear program. Bennett said that:
I am convinced that if we ratchet up the pressure we can get the right deal. … Does anyone honestly think that six months from now we’ll have more leverage than we have now? After letting up on the sanctions? After we see a wave of companies flock to Iran to do business because they sense that the sanctions are on their way out? (1:00:12)
Minister Bennett is the leader of the Jewish Home Party in Israel’s Knesset.
Follow Brookings research and commentary about Iran and especially negotiations on its nuclear program on the Iran @ Saban blog.
The reason [President Trump] wanted to [declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel] in the first place was symbolism in fulfillment of a campaign pledge to his evangelical base.