Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and the author of a controversial new book about his tenure in Washington, said Tuesday that he timed its release expressly to raise alarm bells about President Barack Obama’s nuclear talks with Iran.
“This book comes out now for a reason,” Oren said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” speaking about his book “Ally: My Journey Across the American Israeli Divide,” which comes out Tuesday, a week ahead of the June 30 deadline for a nuclear agreement.
Any deal with Iran should be “conditioned on Iranian behavior,” Oren said, adding that the alternative to any deal with the Iranians is “a better deal” in which the country’s breakout time for enrichment is longer than a month or a year.
“Maybe if I were an Iranian negotiator, I wouldn’t sign it either,” he said, noting that longer they wait, the better deal they could get for their interests.
Oren also slammed what he termed the “signing bonus” for Iran agreeing to a nuclear deal, which he said could be as much as $50 billion. That money is “coming to a neighborhood near you,” he said, noting Iran’s history of funding terror proxies that have killed Americans.
He also laid into the White House, repeating his charge that Obama put daylight between the U.S. and Israel as a matter of policy when he spoke in Cairo in 2009. Under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the two countries tried to keep their problems behind closed doors, he added.
By contrast, any mistakes Israel has made, any surprises, he reiterated, were “honest,” as in 2010 when the Jewish state announced a plan to expand settlement housing in East Jerusalem when Vice President Joe Biden visited the country.