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Israel’s Bennett rethinks Iran policy

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is reviewing Israel’s policy on Iran in order to find the best strategy adapted to the developing situation in the region and worldwide.
Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (R) and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid attend the first meeting of the new government, Jerusalem, June 13, 2021.

I have a firm opinion on the Iranian issue, I am well versed in the subject matter, and I also want to hear your opinion, especially if it differs from mine. That is what Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has been telling his interlocutors in recent weeks. Bennett emphasized he would like to hear everything, from the beginning, asking his interlocutors not to hold back. The new prime minister insisted he wants to dismantle and put together this Iran policy landmine — to conduct an in-depth seminar on the issue in order to think outside the box and formulate a coherent policy vis-à-vis the US administration.

This is the thrust of what Bennett has been telling the heads of Israel’s security agencies, government officials, and serving and former diplomats. He has been repeating his message in private meetings and in larger forums. This seminar, as he calls it, is designed to put together a coherent Israeli policy ahead of his critical Washington meetings with President Joe Biden and his team. The meetings, according to Bennett’s people, will likely take place only in August because Bennett wants to wait until Iran’s newly elected President Ebrahim Raisi assumes office. Bennett believes it will be easier to convey Israel’s agonizing concerns over the nuclear deal with Iran once Raisi, whom Bennett dubs the “hangman from Tehran,” is installed in the presidential palace.

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