Israel Must Not Roll the Dice When It Comes to Nuclear Threats

(Israel Hayom) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Jacob Nagel - It seems that the discourse regarding a narrow defense pact between the U.S. and Israel has lost momentum, mainly due to a lack of American (White House) motivation to promote an alliance at this time, which is a very good thing. The drawbacks of such an alliance far outweigh the advantages. Riyadh's main demands for an agreement with the U.S. are security guarantees, based on a defense agreement along the lines of the Asian model, mainly against Iranian aggression; advanced weaponry deals; a free trade zone, and more. These are demands that Israel can accept, assuming its qualitative military edge (QME) is maintained. On the other hand, the demand for a full nuclear fuel cycle capability on Saudi soil is problematic. While the Saudis are ready for any supervision and control measures imposed by the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency to prevent a future shift to a military program, I recommend continuing the approach of not rolling the dice when it comes to nuclear capabilities. We should ignore irresponsible reports saying Israel is developing "hidden capabilities" that in the future will prevent Saudi Arabia from shifting to a military nuclear program. There is no way of knowing how things unfold. If Israel's rejection of allowing enrichment means the derailment of normalization deals, so be it. Israel should not give in; this is essential. Accepting the Saudi nuclear demands will of course serve as a basis for demands by other countries in the region such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey. Israel should remind the world that the Iranians have violated every treaty and agreement that they have signed. Despite this, the recent understandings struck with Tehran (which the Americans deny) grant the regime permission to continue to enrich to 60% purity, which constitutes about 98% of the required path for full military enrichment level. The writer is a former Israeli national security adviser and head of Israel's National Security Council.

2023-09-28 00:00:00

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