A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing | Opinion

We feel a sense of déjà vu as we survey the recent events in Vienna. The new U.S. administration is racing toward a dangerous nuclear agreement all over again, and Israel once more stands alone. Astoundingly, it increasingly appears that the U.S. will return to the same agreement signed during President Barack Obama's tenure in 2015 with not a single change or addition.

The Iranians are playing a sophisticated game of chess, and they are winning. Since the signing of the previous agreement, they have increased the rate of uranium enrichment to an unimaginable 60 percent—and as part of their negotiations with the Americans, they are threatening to increase uranium enrichment to a further 90 percent if there is no return to the original deal.

These demands appear awkward. Surely, there should be the most basic of requests made of Iran: a cessation of Iran's nuclear push coupled with significant monitoring mechanisms, the termination of ballistic missile testing and the end of Iranian support for terrorism and activities that undermine regional stability.

There is no question about the legitimacy of the attempt to try and resolve the Iranian issue using diplomatic means. However, diplomatic negotiations should come from a position of strength. The previous administration, for instance, deepened the pressure on the Iranian government and caused a significant decline in economic growth. When one implements diplomatic strategy, the weaker party tends to be more flexible than the stronger party. The U.S. is the world's greatest power. Therefore, they should be in a dominant position and at the helm of the negotiations.

This is how power is transmitted. This is leadership in action.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images

Despite the fact that Israel maintains quiet relations with the highest levels of the U.S. administration, it appears that the administration is moving forward with re-entering the Iran nuclear deal. These are the whispers I hear during my conversations with both American and European diplomats. Notwithstanding, Israel is simultaneously working on a variety of additional methods to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. This is a permanent, ongoing activity that has not stopped, and will not stop, while there remains any shred of doubt as to the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Should the United States return to the nuclear deal, we will not let down our guard. In 2015, we knew how to diplomatically navigate in every way, both during the negotiations of the nuclear deal and once the deal was signed. When the world embraced Iran and the treacherous nuclear deal, the state of Israel stood firm and warned the international community of the impending dangers. The Iranian government is a wolf in sheep's clothing—a wolf that bears the sharp and threatening jaws of terror that will clamp down on us all when we least expect it.

Yet, it is our duty to once again prepare for a similar situation to the one we faced in 2015, and to once again speak the truth to the world. In light of the years of experience we have gained, today we will be able to relay the facts more effectively. We will not hesitate to tell the world the one and only truth. Do not be fooled: The existing nuclear deal is not only a danger to Israel. It is also a danger to the Middle East and to the entire world.

All this aside, it is clear to us that there is no U.S. president who knowingly wants to sign an agreement that enables Iran to attain a nuclear bomb. This is why we tell our friends in the U.S.: It is your prerogative to make this mistake and re-enter the nuclear agreement. Just as you choose your path, so we will choose ours, and we reserve every right to protect our citizens from the imminent threat of the world's largest state sponsor of terror.

Ambassador Danny Danon served as Israel's 17th permanent representative to the United Nations, minister of science and technology and deputy minister of defense. He is currently chairman of the World Likud.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.