Israel Could Face Iran on Its Own After U.S. Releases Billions of Dollars for American Detainees
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JERUSALEM, Israel –The recent deal between the United States and Iran has been described as the highest ransom ever paid for American hostages. That’s because Iran will get six billion dollars in frozen assets and prisoners in exchange for five American detainees.
The US State Department maintains those assets, held in South Korea, can only be used for humanitarian purposes and Iran will still be held accountable for human rights abuses, funding terrorism and destabilizing the region.
“Nothing about our overall approach to Iran has changed. We continue to pursue a strategy of deterrence, pressure, and diplomacy. We remain committed to ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Iran’s foreign minister claims its actions are consistent with efforts to get rid of punishment caused by the US.
“Since President Ibrahim Lehi took office, Iran has decided to act in two ways, that is to eliminate the impact of the sanctions while endeavoring to lift the unilateral and unfair sanctions of the United States through diplomatic means,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement focused on the country’s main concern: Iran’s nuclear ambition.
“Israel’s position is known, according to which arrangements that do not dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will not stop its nuclear program and will only provide it with funds that will go to terrorist elements sponsored by Iran,” Netanyahu said.
Certain international experts don’t blame Israel for its stand on the Iranian deal.
“They're one of the lead funders of terrorism around the world. And they're a major opponent to key allies of ours like Israel and Saudi Arabia,” said Ambassador Sam Brownback, former U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.
Brownback said he would understand any Israeli anger over the US allowing billions of dollars to go to its enemy.
“If I'm Israel, if I'm Saudi Arabia, I'm livid about this. And Israel's trying to limit Iran from getting a nuclear reactor and a nuclear weapon, for obvious reasons,” Brownback told CBN News.
Richard Goldberg, of Foundation for Defense of Democracies says the US has clearly agreed to provide sanctions relief in return for almost nothing.
“Iran is not required to get rid of its enriched uranium stockpile. Iran is not required to dismantle a single centrifuge, shut down a single nuclear site. To the contrary, they continue to build up their nuclear capabilities under this arrangement, and they are building a secret underground site that we have now learned about through the press, close to one of their existing sites,” Goldberg told CBN News.
Goldberg says that site would likely withstand a military strike and eventually help complete its nuclear weapons ambition.
“The Israelis are now faced with some pretty tough decisions of actions that they're going to need to take on their own without US support – to potentially have to degrade or destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities, especially that underground site, that if it's completed, would be game over from an attempt to stop an Iranian nuclear weapon,” he said.
As the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran continues to focus on attacking Israel on all sides through Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
“Not to mention all the threats that Iran poses, the State of Israel, the existence to Israel, there are terror proxies that attack Israel every day. So as Americans, based on our interest, based on our values, this is very much a core issue that we should be focused on,” he added.
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