Israel’s former national security advisor, Yaakov Amidror, is criticizing the agreement reached between Iran and the West over its nuclear program this week.
In an opinion piece published in the New York Times on Wednesday, Amidror said that in the Geneva agreement, which he described as a “failure”, the world powers had essentially recognized Iran’s right to develop a nuclear weapon.
Amidror also questioned President Barack Obama’s credibility in his statements that the military option to stop Iran’s nuclear program remains on the table.
“Just after the signing ceremony in Geneva on Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran declared that the world had recognized his country’s ‘nuclear rights.’ He was right,” wrote Amidror.
“The agreement Iran reached with the so-called P5+1 — the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia, plus Germany — does not significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Iran made only cosmetic concessions to preserve its primary goal, which is to continue enriching uranium,” he added.
“The agreement represents a failure, not a triumph, of diplomacy. With North Korea, too, there were talks and ceremonies and agreements — but then there was the bomb. This is not an outcome Israel could accept with Iran,” wrote Amidror.
“Harsh sanctions led Iran to the negotiating table. The easing of those sanctions will now send companies from around the world racing into Iran to do business, which will lead to the eventual collapse of the sanctions that supposedly remain.
“Might economic relief, reduced isolation and new goodwill lead to greater pressure on the Iranian regime to reach a fuller agreement later? I doubt it: As recently as last week, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, denounced Israel as a ‘rabid dog,’ a jab that Western leaders failed to condemn,” he said.
“The deal will only lead Iran to be more stubborn. Anyone who has conducted business or diplomatic negotiations knows that you don’t reduce the pressure on your opponent on the eve of negotiations. Yet that is essentially what happened in Geneva,” wrote Amidror.
“Iran will not only get to keep its existing 18,000 centrifuges; it will also be allowed to continue developing the next generation of centrifuges, provided it does not install them in uranium-enrichment facilities. Which is to say: Its uranium-enrichment capability is no weaker.”
The former national security advisor said that deal with Iran “did not address the nuclear threat at all. This was Iran’s great accomplishment. No wonder Mr. Rouhani boasted that the world had recognized Iran’s nuclear rights.”
He proceeded to say that “while the Obama administration maintains that the military option is still on the table in case Iran does not comply with the new agreement, that threat is becoming less and less credible.”
“Supporters of the agreement emphasize that future inspections in Iran will be frequent and strict. But people familiar with the history of past inspections are skeptical, to say the least. If the Iranians decide to deceive the inspectors, they will succeed; they have in the past,” predicted Amidror.
“Proponents of the deal also say that it is only a preliminary agreement and that the real fight will take place down the road. The experience of the past several weeks does not inspire optimism,” he stated.
“The six powers — the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — have shown that they wanted an agreement more than Iran did. The party that was targeted by the sanctions has achieved more than the parties that imposed them.
“There is no reason to think that the six powers will have more leverage in the future than they had before the Geneva agreement. On the contrary, they just gave that leverage away. After years of disingenuous negotiations, Iran is now just a few months away from a bomb,” said Amidror, who concluded by writing that the agreement with Iran “has made the world a more dangerous place. It did not have to be this way.”
Amidror recently told the Financial Times that Israel could stop Iran’s nuclear program “for a very long time” if it wanted to, adding there was “no question” that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be prepared to make the decision to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities unilaterally if necessary.
Those remarks were later reinforced by comments made by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who told CNN that a bad nuclear deal between Iran and world powers “will lead to war.”