Wary of Biden append Iran, Israel revisits military options, newspaper says

Wary of Biden append Iran, Israel revisits military options, newspaper says

JERUSALEM  – Israel is revising military options for a possible clash with Iran, an Israeli newspaper reported on Thursday, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government braces for differences with the incoming U.S. administration on Iranian nuclear policy.
U.S. President Donald Trump delighted Netanyahu by quitting the 2015 nuclear affect Iran and reimposing sanctions thereon that had been lifted reciprocally for limits on activities that would , potentially, produce nuclear weapons within the future.
Tehran responded by breaching many of these restrictions. President-elect Joe Biden wants to rejoin the deal if Tehran – which denies seeking the bomb – returns to strict compliance.
Israel, alarmed by Iranian rhetoric that it’s a state that ought to not exist, is wary of the softer line, albeit threats of U.S. action from Trump didn’t curtail Iran’s nuclear moves.
A front-page article in Israel’s largest-circulation daily said the military is crafting three options to “undermine Iran’s nuclear efforts or, if need be, counter Iranian aggression, which can soon be presented to the government”.
The paper, Israel Hayom, didn’t cite any sources. But it went on to quote Defence Minister Benny Gantz as saying: “Israel must have a military option on the table.”
Israel has long had plans in situ to counter Iran. The article appeared designed to signal that these were now being updated.
During the previous Democratic administration of Barack Obama, which championed diplomacy with Iran, Israel occasionally threatened preventive airstrikes against Iranian nuclear sites.
Some U.S. officials at the time doubted that Israel – whose advanced military includes a reputed nuclear arsenal – could effectively hit Iranian targets that are distant, dispersed and well-defended.
Israeli officials have voiced hope that Biden will maintain Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran, involving tough sanctions, until the Iranian nuclear programme is dismantled.
But one among them, minister of finance Israel Katz, acknowledged on Army Radio: “There are disputes (with Biden) regarding the attitude on Iran, and in fact which will prove challenging.”
Katz sounded encouraged by Biden’s intent to incorporate Iran’s missile programme in any re-negotiation of the nuclear deal. Biden’s pick for U.S. national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, signalled openness, during a Jan 3 CNN interview, to consulting “regional players” – a possible allusion to Israel.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen told Ynet TV the Netanyahu government wasn’t yet in formal dialogue with the incoming administration. But asked if Israel was trying through informal channels to sway Biden on Iran, Cohen said: “Yes. There are efforts.”

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