Israeli diplomat Rony Yedidia has accused Iran of being the aggravator in the tensions between the two countries, as she spoke on a panel at the University of Stirling.
Ms Yedidia was joined by Joshua Martin and Beth Cairns, in a discussion hosted by the university’s Politics Society on Tuesday [8 March], focusing on the Iran’s Nuclear Policy.
Ms Yedidia spoke at length on the Iran nuclear deal, and on Iran-Israeli relations throughout history.
She confirmed Israel is now locked in a proxy war with Iran, due to Iran’s support of Hamas and President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian conflict.
Ms Yedidia also made it clear Iran was the aggravator in the rising tensions between the two countries: “Just today, Iran tested a missile with greater range than ever before, waging could be a threat to northern Europe, as well as Israel.
“[Iran] have a total disregard for human rights: the subjugation of women in Iran today…its appalling record on LGBT rights. This is a country that will disregard the rights of its own citizens, and could be a risk to other countries.”
The debate was held in Cottrell’s Logie Lecture Theatre, and was attended by around 100 students. Security was tight, due to protests taking place outside the theatre, and a large amount of criticism from members of the student body.
Opening the debate, Mr Martin began by praising the Iran nuclear deal with the West, stating it was “good for the west”, good for Iran as it opens it to the west, “it is good for the Iranian people, and the Israeli people.”
He also accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of taking political advantage from the instability caused between the two nations.
Ms Yedidia argued against his point, saying Netanyahu would be pleased to go “down in history as the man who got a deal with Iran.”
She added: “Israel is not against the deal. We want a deal both sides can agree on. We are not even on the P5+1 [UNSC plus Iran].
“But from this deal – though we do not have a lot to gain – we do have a lot to lose.”
Ms Yedidi made it clear the nuclear deal did not stop Iran from building ballistic missiles, or creating nuclear weapons in the future.
“They have waited for 20 years to get nuclear weapons, they could wait another 10 to 15.”
Comparing the talks to a market, Ms Yedidia said: “The [USA] were willing to pay any price for a deal, and that played to Iran’s advantage.”
PolSoc thanked those who attended the event, which was created to encourage free speech and an open debate.