News Release

Israel Targeting of Iran the Result of U.S. Backing, Refusal to Acknowledge Its Nuclear Weapons

RONNIE KASRILS, rkasrils@gmail.com
Kasrils was Minister for Intelligence Services in South Africa from 2004 to 2008 and was a leading member of the African National Congress during the apartheid era.

    He said today: “Israel is once again acting criminally as the hand behind the recent attack on an Iranian vessel in the Gulf and now as The New York Times reports: ‘Blackout Hits Iran Nuclear Site in What Appears to Be Israeli Sabotage.’ …

    “There can be little doubt that this attack on Iran is calculated to damage the prospects for a wider peace, seeming to sabotage the talks in Vienna about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran which have started on a positive note in Vienna. [The New York Times reported Friday: “Iran Nuclear Talks Start on Positive Note in Vienna.”]

    “Israel is granted an effective green light for its illegal actions and dangerous war mongering whilst the U.S. government has time and again backed it. Just a few months ago South Africa’s emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote, urging incoming President Biden, to end the USA’s ‘pretence over Israel’s secret nuclear weapons’ and that ‘the refusal of [the] U.S. administration to even acknowledge Israel’s massive nuclear weapons arsenal threatens the region and indeed the planet’.” See piece by Tutu in The Guardian: “Joe Biden Should End the U.S. Pretence over Israel’s ‘Secret’ Nuclear Weapons: The cover-up has to stop — and with it, the huge sums in aid for a country with oppressive policies towards Palestinians.”

    Kasrils added: “All this reminds us in South Africa that Israel worked with the apparethid government to enable it to develop its nuclear weapons. Such proliferation violates U.S. and international law, and should result in a cutoff of billions in U.S. taxpayer funding, which enables Israel to destabilise the Middle East and threaten even nuclear war, whilst it continues to brutally oppress the Palestinian people. The USA, and Western powers, allows Israel to act with chilling impunity and are therefore complicit in its crimes.” He wrote the piece “I Fought South African Apartheid. I See the Same Brutal Policies in Israel” for The Guardian.

GRANT F. SMITH, gsmith@irmep.org, @IRmep, Skype: grant.f.smith
Smith is director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy and recently wrote the piece “Biden Could Reverse Six Harmful Israel Policies… With the Only Power That Stops Israel’s Lobby.”

    He said today: “During the Obama administration, Israel and its U.S. lobby did everything they could to sabotage the JCPOA, including spying on secret negotiations and coordinating opposition in the U.S. where the majority of Americans supported the deal.

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu called on the Biden administration to be forthright about the Middle East’s leading state sponsor of nuclear proliferation — Israel. Only by reentering the JCPOA and negotiating for a Middle East nuclear free zone — by dismantling Israel’s nuclear arsenal — will the U.S. be truly serving as an honest broker in the region.”