A Problem of Nuclear Proportions

Arak_Heavy_Water4-300x215By Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaacov Amidror, former Israeli National Security Advisor and head of the National Security Council, served 36 years in senior IDF posts.

 

BESA Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University (March 1):

  • Almost every intelligence agency interprets the Iranians’ unrelenting efforts in the same way: to obtain nuclear arms. There is no other way to explain the herculean efforts they have been engaged in for so many years. We must not allow Iran to receive legitimacy for its preparations to possess nuclear arms, in exchange for buying an insignificant amount of time. The price is too high. There is no chance to restore pressure on Iran once it is stopped. The sanctions will not be applied once more if Iran should renege on the agreement. Therefore, the chances that Iran will renege on the agreement are great.
  • Even without using nuclear arms against Israel, a nuclear Iran will make the Middle East a much more dangerous place. One way is the significance of Iran’s “nuclear umbrella” over the leadership of terrorist groups and hostile countries. It is obvious that Hizbullah would thrive in such a situation, while Israel would not be able to respond or prevent it from acting even when it felt threatened. Under this umbrella the terrorist groups could grow far more dangerous and act against Israel around its borders and throughout the world. The Iranians and their allies have planned dozens of acts of global terrorism in recent years.
  • Iran would become the leading regional superpower and grow extremely strong once it succeeded in getting U.S. permission to become a nuclear threshold state. The stronger Iran becomes, the more anyone who dreams of seeing the Middle East moving away from totalitarianism and toward democracy can forget about it.
  • But beyond that, the important Sunni states in the Middle East will act to protect themselves. They will lose all trust in the U.S., which surrendered to Iran’s trickery in the talks, and will act to obtain nuclear arms for themselves. These countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey, and perhaps others, will never agree to go on without nuclear capability when the leading Shiite state possesses it.
  • The Iranians realized that even though the American president said all options were on the table and even built a credible military option, the U.S. had no desire to use that option, no matter what. The absence of a stick in the negotiating room lifted a great deal of pressure off the Iranians.
  • The second Iranian realization came after a statement from a White House spokesperson that an agreement with Iran would be the president’s greatest success during his term. Together with the superpowers’ acceptance of Iran’s main demands regarding the continued existence of their enrichment capability, that statement led the Iranians to conclude that the U.S. wanted an agreement more than Iran and contributed to Iran’s near-uncompromising stance.
  • At the end of the day, Israel must make it clear it has not signed the agreement and is not bound by it. In the future, Israel must formulate its policy on the basis that “a bad agreement is worse than no agreement,” “all options are on the table” and “Israel must protect itself on its own.”

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