Israel will not be bound by any deal signed by Iran and will continue with its policy of “preemptive war,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Speaking on Israel’s Channel 2, Mr. Netanyahu said he had sent three letters to the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during which he requested an examination of Iranian nuclear activities and told him that if the clerical regime were to give in, Israel would set out its plans and carry them out.
“Let me say it clearly and bluntly: I am asking the Iranian leadership to comply with any agreement or agreements it may reach with the international community,” he said. “But I will not let this opportunity pass.
“If Iran does not accept our requests, and continues down the path of our enemies to become a nuclear power,” he said, “Israel will not only respond but will set out its actions well before any agreement comes into force and defend them and carry them out just as we will now say: Defend yourselves, America.”
Mr. Netanyahu, who has described a nuclear-armed Iran as “existential” to the state of Israel, has publicly backed the Trump administration’s strategy of pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Asked whether Israel would take action against Iranian nuclear activity in the meantime, Mr. Netanyahu said, “We reserve the right to do anything at any time.”
Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly hinted that Israel could strike Iran’s nuclear installations, even as he has repeatedly suggested a two-track process of preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, while also pursuing diplomatic talks. In May, he told the French newspaper Le Monde, for example, that he would be open to joining a “deepened military engagement” against Iran, though he has not made such a suggestion in recent weeks.
“This plan is simple,” he said on Sunday. “We will make every effort for a diplomatic solution, but if the other side does not answer our demand, we have a plan. A plan that will allow us to respond with full force when needed.”