The PJ Tatler

Oren: 'Thank God the Golan Heights is in the Hands of Israel'

Israel Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren promised at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference opening today that “Israel will not remain silent” if the Syrian regime passes “game-changing weaponry” to Hezbollah.

“We have a red line and we will keep that red line, I assure you,” Oren said at a foreign policy roundtable. “All I can say is thank God – thank God – the Golan Heights is in the hands of Israel.”

Oren said the Israel government has “long wanted Bashar al-Assad to depart,” especially because while his father, Hafez, was considered ruthless yet still predictable the son is “ruthless and reckless.”

“He tried to create a secret nuclear facility, which does not exist anymore, thank goodness,” he said in reference to Israel’s 2007 Operation Orchard.

On Iran, Oren believes no progress will be made at the P5+1 nuclear talks in Kazakhstan.

“We’ll keep all options on the table,” he said. “We have the greatest skin in the game.”

The ambassador said Tehran is just using the resumption of talks to buy time for its nuclear program.

“This is the regime that is the largest state sponsor of terror,” Oren said. “The world has to gather and prevent Iran from getting these weapons.”

The only point of progress in a “small window of diplomacy” would be Iran ceasing enrichment, he said.

“Imagine if they had that nuclear weapon – what is the price of inaction?”