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Over 20 ex-Israel officials back US return to Iran nuclear deal

Israeli Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media on the Iranian nuclear issue at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on 9 September 2019. [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media on the Iranian nuclear issue at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on 9 September 2019. [MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images]

Over 20 former senior Israeli military and intelligence officials voiced their support for the US' return to the Iran nuclear deal, local media reported yesterday.

In a letter sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Benny Gantz, former deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli army Matan Vilnai, former Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo, former Israeli Army General Nitzan Alon, former National Security Adviser Uzi Arad and many others said: "We welcome the American initiative to bring Iran into compliance… with the nuclear deal, provided that it also requires Iran to fully comply with its obligations under UN Security Council resolution 2231 on the development of missiles and the IAEA inspections agreements."

They called for a "new, long-term agreement that will address the loopholes and weaknesses discovered in the previous deal."

Meanwhile, the Times of Israel reported officials and security experts Omer Barlev and Yair Golan saying that the deal with Iran was good for Israel, even if everyone else refuses to say so. The Israeli daily described them as two of the top security experts in politics.

Israel has long been a vocal critic of the 2015 deal, warning of the apparent threat Iran poses to the region. Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the deal in 2018 and went on to impose "unprecedented" sanctions on the Islamic Republic, measures which had been lifted under the terms of the agreement.

READ: Israel urges Europe not to reenter Iran nuclear deal

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