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Israel adopts 'controlled escalation' policy for Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu desperately sees how the tough stance of the Trump administration against the nuclear deal with Iran has now morphed and changed into the Americans feeling their way back to the deal.
Israeli sailors stand on board the first of four new German-built Saar 6 naval vessels purchased by the navy, in the northern Haifa city naval base, Israel, Dec. 2, 2020.

What started out in total silence, deep under the radar or the sea, is fast becoming a violent, dangerous clash attracting wide media coverage. Israel and Iran are lifting the veil over their military conflict and no one seems overly troubled. On the contrary. A day after an April 6 Red Sea attack attributed to Israel’s naval commando on the Iranian military vessel the MV Saviz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made this amazing declaration at a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day: “To our good friends as well, I say, 'The deal with Iran that poses and threatens our destruction will not obligate us.'” History, Netanyahu added, has taught Israel that such agreements are worthless. “There is only one thing that we will be committed to: deterring all those who wish to annihilate us from achieving their goal," he warned.

This week’s fast-moving events were nothing short of dramatic. Hours after the attack, US Special Envoy Robert Malley arrived in Vienna for the start of indirect European-mediated talks with Iran on reinstating the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Also on the same day, the first Emirati ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, took up his post in Tel Aviv. That evening, Netanyahu informed Israel’s most important ally — the United States — that as far as he was concerned, the Vienna talks were irrelevant and Israel does not intend to abide by any agreement reached.

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