Israel will act to counter Iranian nuclear threat without US – Netanyahu – The Jerusalem Post

Israel may act on its own to counter the Iranian nuclear threat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday night, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed to the region.

Blinken’s Tuesday visit to Israel comes just before a fifth round of indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to return to the 2015 Iran deal on Thursday.  US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said of the negotiations, “The latest round of talks was constructive and saw meaningful progress. But much work still needs to be done.” He expressed his hope that the fifth round will “further advance toward a mutual return to compliance.”

Blinken himself and another senior State Department official briefing on the matter did not say Iran was on the agenda for the visit, but Israeli officials plan to raise the matter in their meetings with him.

At an award ceremony for excellent Mossad agents on Monday, Netanyahu said: “The top mission for every one of you is to prevent Iran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon. That is the supreme mission,” Netanyahu said

Netanyahu said he “values our friend the US very much” and their support is “part of our national security.”
However, he added: “Ensuring that the Ayatollahs will not stop the thousands of years of existence of the Jewish people will require us to make courageous and independent decisions.
“With or without an agreement, we will do everything to prevent Iran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon, because that is our existence,” he stated.
Netanyahu had warned multiple times last month, following the attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant, that Israel would defend itself against Iranian threats. He stressed that Jerusalem would work to combat Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Reports at the time claimed that the Mossad was behind the attack at the Natanz nuclear plant in Iran.
It was the second attack on Natanz that foreign reports have blamed on Israel within the past year, with an explosion and fire at a facility at the site in July reportedly impacting Iran’s nuclear program significantly. 
The most recent attack against Natanz took place a day after Iran began injecting uranium hexafluoride gas into advanced IR-6 and IR-5 centrifuges at Natanz and was revealed as US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was visiting Israel.
Tensions have been rising between Israel and Iran amid a number of attacks on Iranian and Israeli maritime vessels, with recent reports claiming that Israel has hit dozens of Iranian ships in recent years. 
Tensions were already high between the two nations after the Fakhrizadeh assassination and reported attempts by Iran to carry out revenge attacks on Israeli embassies around the world. Tzvi Joffre and Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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Israel will act to counter Iranian nuclear threat without US – Netanyahu – The Jerusalem Post

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