Israel passes $2.9 billion supplemental defense budget in military threat against Iran
Over recent weeks, Israeli officials have also been pushing for western powers to end sanctions-removal talks with the Islamic Republic
By News Desk - December 25 2021

The US and Israel conduct a missile defense system test in Alaska. (Photo credit: Israel’s Ministry of Defense/Twitter)

Israeli media reported on 23 December that the Finance Committee of the Knesset passed a supplemental defense budget totaling nearly nine billion shekels ($2.9 billion), allegedly in preparation for military action against Iran.

The report by Israel Hayom goes on to say that the decision to introduce this supplemental budget to parliament was “only made several weeks ago.” It also highlights that the items included in this budget are classified.

This latest move by Tel Aviv comes amid their growing frustration over the ongoing sanctions-removal talks in Vienna between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries (China, Russia, France, and the UK plus Germany).

The talks also seek to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a 2015 deal between Washington and Tehran that limited the latter’s nuclear energy program in exchange for significant sanctions relief.

In 2018, the US unilaterally withdrew from the deal and imposed a so-called ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions campaign against the Islamic Republic.

In response, Tehran has continued to enrich uranium past the JCPOA parameters, setting off alarm bells in Tel Aviv.

On 23 December, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told the New York Times that Israel would prefer western powers to withdraw from the Vienna talks rather than pursue a “bad deal.”

Lapid also called on Israel’s allies to develop a “credible military threat” to deter Tehran from building a nuclear weapon.

“If the Iranians think the world does not seriously intend to stop them, they will race towards the bomb,” Lapid told The Telegraph on 24 December. “We must make it clear that the world will not allow this to happen. There needs to be a credible military threat on the table.”

Iran has long maintained that their nuclear energy program is being developed for peaceful purposes only, as in the mid 1990s a fatwa was issued by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stating that nuclear weapons are forbidden.

Nonetheless, over recent months, Tehran has also been making preparations for a possible conflict initiated by the Israelis.

Just this week the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) carried out war games in the Persian Gulf that were reportedly intended as a warning to Tel Aviv.

“These exercises had a very clear message: a serious, real … warning to threats by the Zionist regime to beware their mistakes,” IRGC chief General Hossein Salami said on 24 December.

“We will cut off their hands if they make a wrong move … The distance between actual operations and military exercises is only a change in the angle of missile launches,” General Salami said.

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