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October 23, 2017 12:17 pm

On Iran Nukes, ‘Don’t Believe, Check!’ Israeli Defense Expert Tells US Media Outlet

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IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Isaac Ben-Israel. Photo: File.

An Israeli defense expert has told a US news outlet the position of both US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran was “not shared by their professional advisers and intelligence communities.”

In an interview with Bloomberg journalist Zev Chafets, IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Isaac Ben-Israel — who supervised both the development of Israeli aerial defense systems, as well as the Jewish state’s cybersecurity capabilities — said that “there is an international agreement that prevents Iran from having the Bomb.”

“People may say, how can you believe Iran?” Ben-Israel continued. “The answer is, don’t believe, check! You can do it the old fashioned way, through espionage, and there are also provisions in the deal that permit constant monitoring, which will decrease over 20 years.”

He went on to say: “God knows what will happen in 20 years. Let’s talk about now. Before the deal, Iran was two months away from having enough fissile material to complete their project. It had enriched uranium, not only 3.5 percent but also 19.7 percent. This was acquired despite an international sanctions regime. If the deal collapses, is it likely that more sanctions will deter Iran from resuming its project? Especially if Europe, Russian and China decline to go along with American sanctions?”

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Ben-Israel — who is now a private sector consultant — said that South Korea would benefit from an Iron Dome-style anti-rocket system as it faces a growing threat from Kim Jong-un’s regime in North Korea.

“In Israel’s 2006 Lebanon War, Hezbollah fired 4,200 missiles at Israel; they killed some 80 people,” Ben Israel remarked. “We didn’t then have the Iron Dome. Nine years later, Hamas in Gaza fired 4,500, same type of rockets, and there was not a single casualty. That’s the meaning of ‘battle-tested.'”

He added: “North Korea’s rockets are not different from those of Hamas and Hezbollah. But North Korea has a great many more. If they were to launch a massive simultaneous barrage, you’d need a sufficient number of Iron Dome batteries.”

Asked by Chafets at the close of the interview how Israel’s protocol for launching nuclear weapons differed “from the American model,” Ben Israel responded merely, “Thank you very much for stopping by.”

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