by WorldTribune Staff, July 11, 2018
The leadership in Teheran should not underestimate the Trump administration’s resolve to keep nuclear weapons out of the Iranian regime’s hands, an Israeli minister said.
“The U.S. will be willing to use military pressure and even military action against Iran in the event that it returns to work to obtain nuclear weapons,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on July 11 at a Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs forum titled “Is Iran on the road to economic collapse?”
“At the end of the day, the U.S. can destroy any nuclear facility in Iran no matter where it is and what air defense is protecting it,” Steinitz said.
Steinitz also said continued economic pressure could bring about the Iranian regime’s collapse within a year.
“Iran must understand that the United States’ determination on the nuclear issue is strong,” Steinitz said, adding that the mere threat of sanctions has already resulted in damage to Iran’s economy which has sparked anger among its citizenry.
Related: Reports: Dissent against Iran regime spreading, protesters taking up arms, July 10, 2018
“Iran will have to choose whether or not it’s ready to return to the negotiating table. If the economic pressure continues, I assume they’ll be willing to make concessions on issues that the U.S. is talking about,” Steinitz said.
Steinitz said the ongoing denuclearization negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea will have a great effect on the situation in Iran.
“If negotiations succeed and North Korea disarms completely from its nuclear weapons and infrastructure, Iran will have no choice but to follow suit and surrender to the United States. In the event that the move against North Korea ends with American failure, Iran will reach an understanding that it too will be able to withstand U.S. pressure and may act quickly to acquire its own nuclear weapons,” Steinitz said.
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs president and former Foreign Ministry Director General Dr. Dore Gold said during the discussion that “the Iranian regime chose weapons instead of butter. The Iranian public understands this and is outraged. The Obama administration thought it would be able to moderate the Iranian regime by means of the nuclear agreement and change it, but Iran in response increased its presence and expansion in the Middle East and tried to spread to Jordan as well as to Turkey.”
Jawad Khaddam, an exiled Iranian minister who served in post-revolution and now heads the Union for Democracy in Iran and lives in London, said during the forum: “The world talks only about regime change, its overthrow, but not about the day after. When addressing the Iranian public, it is important to take into account the middle class and its will. The middle class doesn’t want forces the Trump government supports as a governing body.”