Israel not bound by Iranian nuclear 'deal'

On Tuesday, July 15, we woke to the news that after 30 years of on-and-off negotiations with Iran to stop it from acquiring nuclear weapons, the five permanent members of the Security Council have reached a “deal.”
President Obama said Tuesday: “Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” claiming it provides for extensive inspections. “This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu asserted that the agreement is a “stunning historic mistake.” He went on to say: “I spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama and expressed to him Israel’s two major concerns after having examined the agreement.
“The agreement allows Iran to develop extensive capabilities which will enable it to arm itself with nuclear weapons, whether that be in 10 or 15 years at the end of the agreement’s term, or if Iran violates the agreement before then.
“The agreement pumps hundreds of billions of dollars into Iran’s terrorist and war machine, a machine that is turned against us and others in the region.”
Here are highlights of the “deal,” as described by senior U.S. officials:
Iran will remove two-thirds of its infrastructure at the Fordo enrichment center. The center will become a nuclear research center; no uranium enrichment will be allowed there for 15 years.
The Arak heavy water reactor will be converted to produce zero weapons-grade plutonium.
Iran must comply with nuclear reduction and oversight provisions before sanctions relief begins. There is no set date.
Economic and financial sanctions and most sectorial sanctions and access to “over $100 billion” in frozen cash would be relieved for Iran on the first day it’s determined it has met initial requirements.
Iran will reduce its enriched uranium stockpile from 12,000 kilograms to 300. Iran can dilute the enriched uranium or export it.
Iran cannot build new enrichment facilities for 15 years.
If international inspectors want to visit a site, they submit a request to Iran. Iran has 14 days to grant it. If not, the Joint Commission (P5+1/Iran/E.U.) would have a mechanism of 10 days to determine the outcome.
So much for “anytime/anywhere inspections.”
The U.S. could halt sanctions relief if it believed Iran was in violation.
Human rights and terrorism sanctions remain, as do sanctions prohibiting Americans and U.S. businesses from conducting business with Iran.
The U.N. will lift the conventional arms embargo after five years and the embargo for missiles after eight years and if the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies Iran is not violating the agreement.
According to top Israeli analysts, while this “deal,” if fully implemented by Iran, will probably delay it from building nuclear weapons for about a decade, it has several key gaping holes:
No restrictions on Iran developing advanced centrifuges — thus shortening “break out” time if or when the deal falls through.
The “inspection request” clause must list the site and suspicious activities, giving Iran time to cleanse it while delaying the inspections via the “mechanisms.”
Attrition. According to the detailed agreement the mechanisms for addressing and verifying Iranian suspected breaches are complicated, convoluted, and could take months to resolve.
Fordo. Despite previous U.S. promises to Israel and the Gulf states, this heavily fortified, deep underground facility will remain intact and continue to operate and enrich uranium, albeit at a low 3.5 percent level.
Missiles. There are no limitations on Iran continuing to develop, construct, test and deploy long-range, nuclear-capable missiles.
Timetable. The agreement is vague as to whether Iran can, if it wants, resume a full-scale nuclear weapons program after the 10- or 15-year timetable.
And while the “deal” says that the current plutonium producing heavy water core of the reactor at Arak will be dismantled and replaced with a light water core, there is no mention of other undeclared heavy water reactors Iran may already have…
If this deal really is based on “verifications,” and provides for “extensive inspections,” as the president said Tuesday, and that sanction relief will really start, as the U.S. senior officials promised: “only on the day it’s determined it (Iran) has met initial requirements” … then maybe it could work.
I just don’t see that happening, not just days after the elected president of Iran smilingly led a massive rally in Tehran, personally calling over the loudspeaker “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” while applauding the burning of the American and Israeli flags.
And having followed Iran and Middle East dynamics for over 40 years now, I do not believe that any current or future Iranian leader will, for a fraction of a second, ever give up Iran’s Mahdist, jihadist, cataclysmic driven obsession with possessing and deploying nuclear weapons.
I’m glad that Bibi clarified Tuesday that “Israel is not bound by this agreement.”
Agree or disagree, that’s my opinion.
Lt. Col. (IDF res) Gil Elan is president and CEO of the Southwest Jewish Congress, and a Middle East analyst. Email:
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