As Washington and Iran embark on yet another round of nuclear negotiations, Israel’s former Mossad director, Yossi Cohen, has issued a dire warning. Cohen, who resigned several months ago, reportedly directed Israel’s ongoing campaign to prevent the fanatical Iranian regime from developing nuclear weapons. At present, Tehran is believed to have already developed guided missiles with a range that could reach the Jewish state. They are now working on a nuclear warhead.
The former Mossad director was interviewed in Hebrew on Israel’s Ynet news agency. The following is a translation of his comments that sent warning loud and clear that Israel should not remain idle if this new round of nuclear talks enables Tehran to pursue its quest for nuclear weapons. It can be said that President Biden’s handling of the hasty U.S. pullout from Afghanistan does not inspire confidence in his global leadership. What is new in Cohen’s latest warning is the element of time:
“An independent Israeli military strike must be on the table in the event that Iran adopts a course of action that threatens Israel’s survival – no doubt about it!”
He went on to say that there should be no doubt that the Iranian vision and motivation exist, and they are utterly determined to develop a nuclear weapons capability, and this must be prevented. In answer to a question about whether he depended on the Americans to prevent this, Cohen replied:
“I depend on ourselves and that we demand a good nuclear agreement with Iran … I very much hope the U.S. understands the implications of a bad agreement.”
It is fair to say the new Israeli cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, is deeply concerned that the U.S. may now settle for a nuclear deal that will enable, by hook or by crook, to continue to carry on their nuclear weapons program. There should be no underestimating the impact of the hasty U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan that sent shock waves through the region.
No longer dependant on Arab oil, America is pulling out of the Middle East and refocussing on China. Meanwhile, Iran is on the march in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and even Yemen, where Iranian-backed forces are battling the Saudi Arabian army. Indeed, Iran even dared to launch missiles as the Aramco oil installations in Saudi Arabia. But, it is not all doom and gloom. Many of the Gulf Sunni states, now threatened by Iran, have turned to Israel in signing peace accords that include military cooperation (primarily that of the Israeli Air Force) as an ally against Iran’s expansionism.
There is also another prominent religious factor – the Iranians are Shiite Muslims, as opposed to the Arab Sunni Muslims, and both are bitter rivals in the Muslim world (if you like, similar to the bloody wars between the Protestant and Roman Catholic states in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe). The following joke illustrates that there is no love lost between Sunni and Shiite Muslims: a Sunni Muslim father was once asked if he were forced to marry his daughter to a Shiite or a Jewish husband, who would he select. The Sunni father thought for a second and then replied, “I’d pick the Jewish husband.”
This then is the background to the current nuclear confrontation and its impact on the Arab world that has seen the Sunni Arab states forging peace deals with Israel. This has now also extended westward in Africa, where Sudan has followed in the footsteps of neighboring Egypt, and now Morroco has also signed a defense pact with Israel.
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz has just concluded a surprising accord that includes the sale of Israeli weaponry to the kingdom. Bear in mind that some 400,000 Israelis are of Morrocan descent and are proud of it. Thousands of Moroccan Jews have begun visiting their former homeland.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Lebanon, Israel’s northern neighbor, is coming apart at the seams. There, Iran’s Shiite ally, Hezbollah, has wreaked economic havoc on that unhappy country comprised of Shiite Muslims, Christians, and Druze. In August 2020, its huge warehouse of explosives in the port of Beirut blew up, causing catastrophic damage not only to the city but the whole of Lebanon. Since then, Lebanon has been in an economic freefall with no end in sight. However, this has not affected Hezbollah’s links with Iran, which continues to try and smuggle in missiles and other weapons via neighboring Syria. And this is why foreign news reports allude to Israeli airstrikes on this arms smuggling primarily of advanced rockets for bombarding Israel from within Lebanese territory.
ISRACAST CRYSTAL BALL …
As we reported, former Mossad director Yossi Cohen has made his boldest statement so far by warning the Israeli public to hope for the best from the new round of Iranian nuclear negotiations while also stressing that the Jewish state must be ready, willing, and able to go it alone if the U.S. caves in to Iran on the nuclear issue.
Now retired, Cohen has sounded loud a realistic warning about what’s at stake. It was also his calling card to the Israeli public and opens the door to his running for public office after his three-year ban on entering politics. With Likud leader Bibi Netanyahu now on the ropes in his corruption trial, Yossi Cohen could be a shoo-in if he decides to run for the Likud leadership in the future. This is, of course, if Netanyahu is convicted of financial and political corruption and is forced to leave politics. It is also worth noting that Cohen is a native-born Sabra, born in 1961 and raised in Jerusalem to 7th and 8th generation parents in a Masorati (religious) home. Early on in his military career, he served in the paratroopers unit. All of these points add to Cohen’s potential as an attractive political leader in the future.