The United States is leading a “maximum pressure” campaign against the Iranians in an effort to curb their malignant behavior, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t agree more. In fact, he told visiting US Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday that pressure is the first, second and third best option for responding to Iran. “If I had to say what are the three things that we have to do in the face of Iranian aggression, it is pressure, pressure and more pressure to force Iran to abandon its nuclear and regional ambitions,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “I believe this is entirely within our realm. I think within not only the realm of possibility, but I think it’s happened.
“It’s very important that the nations of the world who profess their desire to stop Iranian aggression, stand with the United States and show common resolve.”
Netanyahu noted that the US sanctions on Iran “are working,” with Iranian funds for “aggression” throughout the region “drying up.” Said the Israeli leader, “Sanctions have begun to work, and it’s important that they continue to work. It’s important to keep up the pressure.”
Perry, in the region to enhance cooperation with Israel in energy, during his press conference with Netanyahu—which was published in a video to the Department of Energy’s Twitter feed—he highlighted the Jewish State’s discovery of natural gas and the potential for exporting it. However, even in that realm, Iran looms as a threat.
“Our advancements in energy production, they’re historic. But besides producing that energy, we’ve got to ensure its delivery,” said Perry in the Twitter video recap of his comments.
“And there are bad actors out there, you mentioned one of them earlier. Iran and others would love to disrupt that delivery through cyberattacks, so our two democracies remain very closely attached, and focused on training, we’re focused on sharing cyber best practices and workforce development strategies.”
Regarding delivery of energy resources, Iran has already proven to be troublesome, recently sabotaging oil tankers and even capturing a British oil ship. Commenting on Iran’s activities, Netanyahu told Perry, “We cannot allow Iran to disrupt the flow of oil in international waters, and again, I think the first requirement is the application of still greater pressure on Iran. I would not show any hesitation. I’m a leader who’s shown judicious use of force, and I think in this case, the judicious use of pressure is what is required.”
Regarding Israel and US energy cooperation, Netanyahu noted that the United States has been “following and accompanying our effort” to build a gas pipeline to deliver gas to Europe. And while both Netanyahu and Perry commented on the strong relationship between their countries, Israel’s importance is not just with the US.
“There is an irreplaceable alliance between Israel and the United States, there’s no other country, and there’s no other alliance like that. But within the region… Israel is the irreplaceable power, because there is no other power within the region without whose presence and activity here, I would say the region would collapse,” said Netanyahu.
“Without Israel, without the things that we do and the things that we stand for and the things that we protect, I think the entire Middle East would collapse to the forces of Islamic radicalism, whether Shiite led by Iran or Sunni radicalism led by Daesh [ISIS]. I know that the United States and Israel understand this and cooperate because the United States is the external force that makes sure that the Middle East doesn’t fall to these forces.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 23, 2019)