Israeli policy on Iran’s nuclear program over the last decade was decided personally by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu without consultation, the former head of Israel’s Military Intelligence indicated on Tuesday.

“The Iranian issue was privatized to one person,” argued Amos Yadlin, speaking at a panel at Reichman University’s Institute for Policy and Strategy conference in Herzliya. “The strategic discussions did not take place.”

He also said that the JCPOA deal of 2015 between Iran and six other countries including the United States kept the Islamic Republic from making meaningful progress in its nuclear program: “The mistake is not in 2015, but in 2018 when they leave the deal in its good years.”

Yadlin served as head of the IDF Military Intelligence Unit and was military attaché to Washington. He was the center-left’s Zionist Union’s candidate for defense minister ahead of the 2015 election.

“The Iranians are returning to the negotiations and are returning strengthened against an adversary that is determined to return to the 2015 agreement,” he said.

Yadlin predicted that next week’s talks in Vienna will not bring about a return by the US and Iran to the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Instead, he said, Iran will remain as close as possible to nuclear weapons capability.

Former US president Donald Trump pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018, reapplying stiff sanctions on Iran, which has violated some of its own commitments to the pact and significantly increased its uranium enrichment, raising concerns it is becoming a nuclear weapons threshold state. READ MORE

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