When the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries ended on April 14th in Istanbul, and both sides came out with positive assessment of the talks announcing their desire to continue negotiations in Baghdad next month, every nation welcomed the news except the Israeli government, which cast doubt on the outcome of any nuclear negotiation with Iran. Netanyahu was the first Israeli official who criticized the Istanbul talks, including the decision of Iran and world powers to meet again in May, and said, "My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie." President Obama immediately shot back and disclosed a rift with Israel. He insisted that the United States has not "given anything away" in new talks with Iran.
A few days ago, it was Defense Minister Barak’s turn to lash out at the nuclear talks. Addressing foreign diplomats, he sounded pessimistic about the talks and said, "The chance that, at this level of pressure, Iran will meet the international demand to stop the program irrevocably - that chance appears to be low." Furthermore, in an interview with CNN last Tuesday, Netanyahu again criticized the current atmosphere prevailing in the talks on the acceptance of producing low-enriched uranium inside Iran and said, "They have to stop all enrichment."
Recent statements by the Israeli officials clearly point to the fact that Israel is not after finding a solution to the current standoff on the Iranian nuclear issue. In reality, Israeli leaders feel that they can breathe only in a tumultuous and agitated atmosphere; otherwise they should have welcomed the outcome of the nuclear talks as did many countries in the world.
This irrational Israeli policy is being attacked inside Israel too. Yuval Diskin, who was the head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency until last year, has accused the government of exaggerating the effectiveness of a military attack on Iran and said Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak should not be trusted to lead policy on Iran. When Israel's military chief, Major General Benny Gantz, said in an interview last Wednesday that Iran would not build nuclear weapons because "I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.”, he was immediately rebuffed by Barak, who said Iranian leaders were not "rational in the Western sense of the word - connoting the quest for status quo and the peaceful resolution of problems."
Israel should be reminded that, today, Iranophobia is not going to solve its problems, and instead will further expose its militaristic policies in the region and beyond. The Western leaders have now realized that Iran cannot be denied its rights under the NPT, hence the beginning of real negotiations to find a mutually accepted solution to the problem. These leaders should put their interests above the narrow-minded Israeli interests and work with Iran to solve the nuclear issue once and for all.