While world leaders gathered in Vienna to push forward the Iran nuclear deal’s revival, Israel celebrated its 73rd Independence Day by hosting 60 foreign diplomats at an event in Tel Aviv where Israel reiterated its staunch commitment to defending its national interests against the Iranian threat.
“These celebrations come at a particularly significant time as the Vienna talks and the attempt to revive the JCPOA continue. Israel is clear on this issue. The revival of the deal with no amendments is a big mistake, especially as the fanatical Iranian regime has significantly advanced its nuclear capabilities,” Israel’s former Ambassador to the United Nations and event host Danny Danon told The Foreign Desk.
Israel has on numerous occasions voiced its concern regarding Washington signing back onto the 2015-era JCPOA without making the needed changes to fully curb the Islamic Republic’s chances at having a nuclear weapon.
“If the U.S. decides to reenter the original 2015 deal with no amendments, we will take all necessary steps to secure Israel’s interests. We will not be bound by an agreement which poses an existential threat to Israel,” said Danon, “we will never again go back to being a voiceless and homeless nation. We will protect our country at all costs.”
Coincidentally, the event was hosted on the same day Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility underwent an apparent attack in what Iran is calling an act of “nuclear terrorism.”
The attack caused the facility to experience a black out and could hold potentially significant consequences for Iran’s leverage over nuclear deal negotiations; however, Iran claims the attack did not stop uranium enrichment at the facility.
Iran is accusing Israel for the attack and is threatening retaliation. While a number of news outlets have quoted unidentified intelligence sources saying Israel’s Mossad was behind the attack, there has been no official confirmation from the Israeli government.
“The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions. They have publicly said that they will not allow this. But we will take our revenge from the Zionists,” said Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Monday according to state media.
“We take the threats of our enemies very seriously,” said Danon in a speech during the Sunday event, emphasizing that Israel must “pay greater attention to the threats of [its] enemies than to the promises of [its] allies.”
The Iran deal negotiations between Iran and the U.S. continue to face a standstill, as the two countries wait for the other to make the first move, with Iran demanding full sanction relief and the U.S. proposing a slow release of sanctions in return for Iran’s step-by-step reversal of violations.