With the Biden administration set to restart a new round of nuclear talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the spokesperson for Iran’s military stated over the weekend that they will not give up their pursuit of wiping Israel off the face of the earth.
“We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter,” Brig.-Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesman for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s armed forces, told the Iranian Students News Agency. “We want to destroy Zionism in the world.”
The Jerusalem Post added:
The Iranian general also blasted Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for normalizing diplomatic relations with Israel, terming the diplomacy “intolerable” for Iran’s clerical regime. “Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and other countries considered as Muslims, for us they part of the Zionist regime and this is very important,” said Shekarchi.
The comments from Iran’s military come as the Biden administration and other nations are set to resume nuclear talks in what is now the seventh-round of talks to take place.
…the mood among negotiators is somber if not outright gloomy, and the rhetoric has gone from tough to strident. Both Washington and Tehran appear willing to risk failure, and potentially much worse, to the chagrin of European and other countries shepherding the latest diplomacy.
In a sense, the world has been here before. As Iran advanced its nuclear program prior to the 2015 deal, much of the same brinkmanship was at play, including Israel’s insistence that it would use military force to destroy the Iranian program.
But the stakes are arguably higher now. Iran’s nuclear program — which Tehran has always maintained is for peaceful purposes, not a bomb — is more advanced, and Iranian leaders are less optimistic about the benefits of potential sanctions relief.
Back at the start of August, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Iran was “only around 10 weeks away from acquiring weapons-grade materials necessary for a nuclear weapon.”
On September 13th, The New York Times reported that Iran, “has come within roughly a month of having enough material to fuel a single nuclear weapon.”
“Experts studying new data contained in reports last week by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ atomic inspection group, say that by enriching nuclear fuel in recent months to near bomb-grade levels, Tehran has gained the capability to produce the fuel needed for a single nuclear warhead within a month or so, …” The Times added. “A report issued on Monday by the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group that specializes in analyzing the findings of the United Nations agency, concludes that a race over the summer to enrich uranium at 60 percent purity — just below bomb grade — has put Iran in a position to produce the fuel for a single bomb in ‘as short as one month.’”
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned in a speech to the United Nations in late September that Israel was prepared to do whatever it takes to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
“Iran’s nuclear weapon program is at a critical point. All red lines have been crossed. Inspections — ignored. All wishful-thinking — proven false,” he said. “Iran is currently violating the IAEAs safeguard agreements — and it’s getting away with it. They harass inspectors and sabotage their investigations — and they’re getting away with it. They enrich Uranium to the level of 60 percent, which is only one step short of weapons-grade material — and they’re getting away with it.”
“Evidence which clearly proves Iran’s intentions for nuclear weapons in secret sites in Turquzabad, Teheran & Marivan — is ignored,” he continued. “Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment. And so has our tolerance.”
“Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning. There are those in the world who seem to view Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, as a done deal, or they’ve just become tired of hearing about it,” Bennett added. “Israel doesn’t have that privilege. We cannot tire. We will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”