Israeli defense minister on United States: Weakness doesn't pay

Israel’s defense minister on Monday said Israel cannot depend on the United States to lead the charge against Iran, and can only rely on itself.

"We thought that the one who needs to lead the campaign against Iran is the U.S.," Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said during a lecture at Tel Aviv University, as reported by Haaretz


"If we wished others would do the work for us, it wouldn't be done soon, and therefore in this matter, we have to behave as if we can only rely on ourselves."

Yaalon also implicitly criticized President Obama's foreign policy as weak by arguing U.S. influence had increasingly diminished.

“Weakness certainly does not pay in the world," he said. "No one can replace the U.S. as the world's policeman. I hope the U.S. will come to its senses."

Yaalon’s comments come as the U.S. and other partner nations enter a new round of talks with Iran on its nuclear program. The talks are set to resume in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday. Israel has repeatedly slammed the nuclear deal negotiators reached last November.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously warned about launching a preemptive military strike on Iran in an effort to protect Israel. That prospect, which he has said remains on the table, has appeared to be a less likely scenario in recent months.