The new US administration’s willingness to begin a dialogue with Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program is an “opportunity” for Israel even though the Islamic Republic’s track record in international negotiations is one of “prevarications, lies and master manipulators of time,” former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy said Tuesday.
“On the issue of Iran, the aims of the US and Israel are identical,” Halevy said in an address to the gathering of the New York-based World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem. “If they want to try a different way on Iran we should not consider this as a threat but as an opportunity.”
His remarks come one day after U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated in an Arabic television interview that he is interested in engaging Iran in dialogue.
Halevy said that Israel must be “cool-headed” in its approach to the Islamic Republic, which he called “one of the most implacable foes” the Jewish state has had to confront since its establishment 60 years ago.
He noted that the Islamic Republic was motivated by religion, but would do everything to ensure the preservation of their regime.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)