- Behind Israel’s Hysterical Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal
by ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH, http://www.counterpunch.org/
In light of the fact that Israel is in possession of at least 200 (surreptitiously-built) nuclear warheads, and considering the reality that, according to both US and Israeli intelligence sources, Iran neither possesses nor pursues nuclear weapons, the relentless hysterical campaign by Israel and its lobby against the Iran nuclear deal can safely be characterized as the mother of all ironies—a clear case of chutzpah.
As I pointed out in a recent essay on the nuclear agreement, the deal effectively establishes US control (through IAEA) over the entire production chain of Iran’s nuclear and related industries. Or, as President Obama put it (on the day of the conclusion of the agreement), “Inspectors will have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain—its uranium mines and mills, its conversion facility and its centrifuge manufacturing and storage facilities. . . . Some of these transparency measures will be in place for 25 years. Because of this deal inspectors will also be able to access any suspicious location.”
Even a cursory reading of the text of the agreement shows that, if ratified by the US congress, the deal would essentially freeze Iran’s nuclear program at a negligible, ineffectual level of value—at only 3.67% uranium enrichment. Israel and its lobby must certainly be aware of this, of the fact that Iran poses no “existential threat to Israel,” as frequently claimed by Benjamin Netanyahu and his co-thinkers.
So, the question is: why all the screaming and breast beating?
There is a widespread perception that because the nuclear agreement was reached despite the lobby’s vehement opposition, it must therefore signify a win for Iran, or a loss for Israel and its allies. This is a sheer misjudgment of what the deal represents: it signifies a win not for Iran but for Israel and its allies. And here is why: under the deal Iran is obligated to (a) downgrade its uranium enrichment capabilities from 20% of purity to 3.67%, (b) freeze this minimal level of 3.67% enrichment for 15 years, (c) reduce its current capacity of 19000 centrifuges to 6104 (a reduction of 68%), (d) reduce its stockpile of low grade enriched uranium from the current level of 7500 kg to 300kg (a reduction of 96%), and (e) accept strict limits on its research and development activities. While some restrictions on research and development are promised to be relaxed after 10 years, others will remain for up to 25 years.
“Iran doesn’t frighten me and I don’t think it should frighten the American people. They don’t have a bomb. They haven’t made a decision to build one. They don’t have the means to deliver one. And the Israelis have 300 atomic bombs! I mean who presents the existential threat to whom?” – Pat Buchanan (7:58 onwards)