JERUSALEM, Israel – The world’s military power appears to be concentrated on Islamic State, worrying some in the Middle East who believe an even greater danger lurks in the region.
For the first time in years, large parts of the world and many Arab countries appear united, this time against the ISIS terrorists. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, continues to sound the alarm about the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.
« Make no mistake, ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war, » he told the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Netanyahu and other Israeli officials warn that Iran’s nuclear program is what keeps them up at night. One official said ISIS has been a problem for five years, but Iran has been a problem for 50 years.
« I am here to tell you that Israel is deeply concerned, » said Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz.
This concern, according to the Israeli intelligence minister, concerns the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program.
« The Iranians have shown no real flexibility on the two main issues: the issue of centrifuge plants – centrifuges for uranium enrichment – and the heavy water plant in Arak, » he explained.
Steinitz also said Israel fears the negotiators will end up with a bad deal. He says no deal is better than a bad deal.
« No deal means that you remain true to your principle, that you are not giving up, that you are not sacrificing the future of the world, that you are not sacrificing global security, that you are not ready to [and] that what happened with North Korea will repeat itself in one, two or three years with Iran,” he continued.
And Middle East analyst Jonathan Spyer returns to the fight against ISIS and how it could ironically help Iran.
« So, if it becomes the main or only goal of Western policy to destroy Sunni Islamism and Sunni jihadism in these areas, the actual result of that would be by default to strengthen the enemies of those forces, which are not democratic forces, i them pro-Iranian forces,” said Spyer, a senior research scientist at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya and a member of the Middle East Forum.
« They are Shiite Islamists allied with Iran. So it is crucial that we keep this bigger picture in mind if we are to avoid effectively escalating or acting absurdly in partnership with our most dangerous enemies in the region, » he said.