“No one wanted North Korea and Pakistan to get nuclear weapons, but it happened. Obama and Biden also don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons, but it will happen if [Israel] doesn’t stop it,” former Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer tells Israel Hayom in a special holiday interview.
Ron Dermer, who until recently was Israel’s ambassador to the United States, is warning that despite their promises, the US and the international community will not prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
“In no uncertain terms, the world will allow it to happen,” Dermer said.
“No one wanted North Korea and Pakistan to get nuclear weapons, but it happened. [Former US President Barack] Obama and [current US President Joe] Biden also don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons, but it will happen if we [Israel] doesn’t stop it,” the former ambassador continued.
“The Iranians want to turn Israel into South Korea, and Tel Aviv into Seoul. They want to surround us with a conventional ring of precision weapons and create a balance of terror so that any time someone fires a rocket from Gaza – you will think twice before responding.
“In year 15 of the nuclear deal, when your expectation is that the international community will prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon, [Iran’s] conventional might will be such that people will say, ‘Now it’s already too late to stop them. They will destroy Tel Aviv.’ Anyone who says we will have all the same options when the deal expires as we have now is wrong. We won’t have options,” warns Dermer.
“It will be impossible for you to act when the knife is at your throat because the price will be too high.”
Dermer also rejects Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s claim that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu neglected the Iranian issue as “detached from reality.”
“I saw for 20 years, four of which were spent in the Prime Minister’s Office and seven in the embassy in Washington, how Netanyahu rallied the world to apply international pressure against Iran. He was the one who convinced many officials in the international realm, among other reasons because they understood he was willing to act, and that created more pressure. Netanyahu was the most active force in the Israeli and international arenas on this matter, and there are many things that still are not known [to the public]. He thought that everything needed to be done, and that’s what he did,” says Dermer.
Dermer also alleges that during the Obama presidency, senior Israeli officials worked to undermine the Netanyahu governments’ policies in relation to Iran.
“There were people who impeded the prime minister from doing his job of defending Israel’s interests. This was true between the years 2009 and 2012 when people worked against the military option, and during the campaign stop the nuclear deal in the years 2013-2015,” says Dermer.
Dermer, who was Netanyahu’s close adviser for 20 years, played a crucial role in former US President Donald Trump’s historic decisions in regards to Israel.
The bounds of cynicism
Throughout his years of public service, Dermer has largely avoided speaking with the Israeli press. In his interview with Israel Hayom he explains the reasons why, while harshly criticizing the conduct of numerous journalists.
“There’s an entire group of people [journalists – A.K.] who have no bounds to their cynicism toward the politicians in Israel. For some reason, however, when they board a plane and cross the ocean, their cynicism disappears. When an American president says something, they become naïve. I found myself investing hours dealing with nonsense that was written or said,” explains Dermer.
In the broader interview with Israel Hayom, Dermer divulges why his tenure was extended to seven years, reveals details about the relationship with the Trump administration, the F-35 deal with the UAE, and the efforts to free Jonathan Pollard. Dermer also responds to the allegations against him and Netanyahu regarding ties to the Democratic party, and discusses their approach to US Jewry.