National Security Council head Uzi Arad says that Benjamin Netanyahu's government has inherited a "scorched earth" policy on the Iranian nuclear threat from the last administration, but he is certain that President Barack Obama is committed to Israel's security.
In an exclusive interview in Friday's Haaretz Magazine, Arad says Israel displayed an "abominable" failure to address Tehran's nuclear development between 2003 and 2007, Arad says, and while he suggests a potential naval blockade on the Islamic Republic, he adds, "The more credible and concrete the option, the less likely that it will be needed."
Should efforts to halt Iran's centrifuges fail and it becomes a nuclear power, the result would be a multi-nuclear Middle East, with five or six states resembling Pakistan.
The national security chief described this situation as a "nightmare." He doesn't consider "living with" a nuclear Iran to be an option, as the West has done with the Soviet Union and China.
Regarding the Palestinian arena, Arad says, "I also do not see a Palestinian leadership or a Palestinian regime, but a disorderly constellation of forces and factions."
When it comes to relations with Washington, however, he is more conciliatory: "When President Obama says he is committed to Israel's security, he is speaking the truth. He is committed in the full sense of the word."
As the topic of conversation returns to Iran, Arad says, "The defensive might we have must be improved and become tremendously powerful, and create a situation in which no one will dare to realize the ability to harm us. And if they do dare, we will exact a full price, so that they too will not survive."
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