Israel says U.S.-Iran dialogue to fail without time frame, benchmarks
A senior Israeli official has said without a clear time frame and set benchmarks, the dialogue U. S. President Barack Obama plans to hold with Iran will fail to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, local daily The Jerusalem Post reported Monday.
"I have no doubt that the Iranians will use any dialogue to stall for time if there will not be a clear time frame and clear benchmarks like telling them that they have two months to stop the enrichment," Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon told the newspaper in a recent interview, Xinhua reported.
"These are the type of benchmarks that can test the Iranians, since anything else will be a waste of time. This time will be used by the Iranians to continue to move towards a nuclear military capability," said the former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of general staff.
The West has to understand that it needs to confront the Iranians and can not make concessions, said Yaalon.
"What is happening between the Western world and the Islamic jihadists of Iran is a process that is built on previous surrenders and concessions," he said, adding that "What the West needs to do is to stand up against this wave and confront it."
When asked whether the IDF could stage an effective strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, Yaalon refused to comment.
"We need to hope that the job will be done by someone else and at the same time, as the Talmudic sage Hillel said, 'If I am not for myself who will be?'" he said.
In late February, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the United States had better confine its diplomatic attempt to choke Iran's nuclear drive due to the imminence of the alleged threat.
"There is a serious Iranian effort to make swift achievements, and time is running out... It is essential that the U.S. administration's initiative to talk to the Iranians be confined to a short period of time," said the defense minister.
"Meanwhile, the sanctions must be tightened so that it quickly becomes clear whether they have a chance of success or not," added Barak, while stressing that "Israel isn't taking any options off the table."
The United States and Israel have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, but Iran has repeatedly denied the allegations, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.