Israel’s Security and Iran: A View from Lt. Gen. Dan Haloutz
While Israel and Iran continue trading covert punches and overheated rhetoric, the question of what Israel can and will do to turn back the clock of a nuclear Iran remains unanswered. Some Israelis fiercely advocate a preventive military strike, while others press just as passionately for a diplomatic track. How divided is Israel on the best way to proceed vis-à-vis Iran? Will Israel’s course put it at odds with Washington?
On September 11, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted Lt. Gen. Dan Haloutz, the former commander-in-chief of the Israeli Defense Forces, for a discussion on his views on the best approach to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Brookings Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
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The question with this administration is, what will Trump see as an acceptable return for this waiver [granted to India for its trade with Russia and Iran]? Will he demand a transaction in return, some give on the trade side or a big defence deal for the US as well? Russia and Iran are sticking points, but the fact that the Trump administration is dealing with these privately is a sign of how much the relationship has changed. [Mr Trump] usually doesn’t give out freebies.
For all of us who care about preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, what’s the best way to keep preventing that? [The JCPOA is] not perfect, but it’s something. These conventions are never based on the premise that all the parties are telling the truth, it’s about enforcement mechanisms. No arms control agreement is based in trust.