By Silvan Shalom, Israel’s vice prime minister and interior minister for the Guardian (Aug 10):
- We in Israel have been at the receiving end of gun and missile fire for decades. In that time we have learned, the hard way, that it is only our actions that ensure our survival, not written promises. Our neighborhood does not play by Western rules, and as the only democracy in the region we know all too well what it is to fight an enemy that abuses our values.
- In our region, one regime stands out above all others in its destructive role. The ayatollahs in Tehran would have us believe that they are a peace-loving regime, and that the Vienna nuclear deal is proof of their benign intentions. But reality is telling us a different story, one that totally contradicts this narrative.
- If we are to understand the Iranian regime, we must look at what it is doing, not just saying, and ask ourselves whether its actions are compatible with Western interests and values. Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism, arming and supporting Hizbullah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Syrian regime, and Houthi rebels in Yemen. It employs the Revolutionary Guards to perpetrate acts of terrorism throughout the world.
- Tehran’s military nuclear record is well documented: the regime has been working clandestinely for decades to develop a nuclear weapon. Rouhani himself boasted of how in previous rounds of negotiations he took advantage of talks in European capitals to secretly advance the nuclear military project.
- The West must look beyond its economic interests, and ask itself what values it has in common with the ayatollahs in Tehran. Iran has not signed up for peace. Iran is merely utilizing the tools given to it by Western democracies in order to stave off international pressure.
- We must be clear eyed when it comes to Tehran’s intentions. If the past teaches us anything about the current regime, it is this: the terror will continue, as will Tehran’s destructive regional role, and the military nuclear project will be close on its heels.
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