As the world powers seek to conclude a 'comprehensive agreement' with Iran by the end of June, the onus is on Iran to reach a nuclear deal. However, under the highly imperfect deal on the table now, Iran would give up nothing and maintain its entire nuclear apparatus.Sanctions related to other aspects of Iran’s behavior, such as human-rights issues, support of terrorism and its ballistic-missile program would not be affected.
With all its inevitable additional imperfections, a sham deal that leaves Iran with an intact nuclear infrastructure; if signed, is a de facto recognition of the most dangerous terrorist state in the world as a threshold nuclear power.
Ideally, Iran's existing enrichment facilities would be dismantled and there would be no nuclear enrichment possible for building weapons grade uranium and an atomic bomb. But it is almost certain that President Barack Obama will accept any deal, no matter how bad, and that he is eager for one to bolster his questionable legacy. Given US capitulation to Iranian demands, Obama has just triggered the countdown to war.
Irrational religious fanatics in Iran who seek the destruction of the state of Israel, support global terrorism and refuse to allow the monitoring of the supply chain and nuclear infrastructures through the UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA) cannot be trusted with advanced technology, let alone with a nuclear weapon. Even before a deal has been reached, Tehran has managed to circumvent the sanctions in key areas, such as laundering cash through Dubai.
Washington's refusal to admit that nuclear diplomacy has failed becomes more evident as the Obama administration tries to cover up Iran-North Korea Nuclear cooperation and Iran's violation of the interim agreement.
Overall, the Obama administration's avowed intent to guarantee that Iran won't get a nuclear weapon was offset by its secretly offering the Islamist regime a list of dangerous US concessions that will put Iran on the path to those weapons.
Iran's past history of lying and cheating over its nuclear program is well documented. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's attempt to deceive the public by claiming that the United States has a “real need for the negotiations", when the truth is exactly the opposite, is another calculated lie.
Iranian unsatisfactory answers to the questions put to them by the IAEA about the possible military dimensions (PMD) of their nuclear program are cause for real worry. Make no mistake about it. Without a "uniquely intrusive inspection and verification regime" to prevent cheating and an extension of Iran’s “breakout capability" for at least a year, talking about a decade or more is an elaborate ruse designed to buy more time for Tehran to build an atomic weapon. After all, if Iran's nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes, what prevents them from agreeing to vigorous IAEA inspections? What are they hiding?
A sanctions expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the end of an arms embargo would allow Iran to become "one of the region's preeminent military powers, maybe on a par only with Israel."
Iran wants to retain part of its nuclear program so it could produce fuel in much smaller facilities that can be hidden, enabling it to produce a bomb in secret. Many people may not realize that every nuclear power plant produces plutonium. Plutonium and/or highly-enriched uranium are essential ingredients of nuclear bombs. If a single nuclear power reactor continues operating for a total of 30 years, it will have produced enough plutonium for at least 1,200 bombs.
The potential for smuggling, sabotage or theft at Arak, Isfahan, Bushehr and the heavily-fortified underground uranium enrichment Fordow facility, and other unacknowledged underground military sites would be substantial.
Even worse, the presence of uranium or plutonium in a messianic Islamist country is a potential target for terrorism. Imagine what a nuclear Iran would do as it doles out nuclear bombs to its jihadist proxies. This would place millions of innocent lives in danger and threaten the hope for world survival-- and that's enough evidence that the threat of nuclear terrorism from Iran is for real.
Iran could also use a nuclear weapon as not just a deterrent but as a way to give itself cover for bullying its neighbors and generally projecting more power in the region, where competition for influence is already high, and the stakes are enormous.
Additionally, other dangers inherent in nuclear power plants would remain: the potential for a major accident like Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan and at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, which released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere that spread over much of the western USSR and Europe.
In this scenario, a catastrophic nuclear accident in Iran's nuclear reactors could spread radiation throughout the Levant in the Mediterranean and the Maghreb. The accumulation of long-lived wastes from the reactors' continuing operation is an unimaginable spillover waiting to happen in the most unstable and dangerous part of the world.
Thanks to Obama's appeasement policy, Iran sees the fulfillment of its hegemonic ambition to export the 1979 Islamic revolution as a possibility. Nevertheless, Iran is walking a very tight rope where any miscalculation on its part could determine the ineluctable fate and survival of its clerical regime and cause untold deaths in its own country. Israel, after all, is under no obligation to accept a nuclear framework under international legitimacy, that gives Iran the ability to retain a vast nuclear infrastructure enabling it to produce fuel for dozens of nuclear bombs with virtually no breakout time. It knows that a nuclear deal that does not cut off uranium, plutonium or block covert "pathways to a bomb" can lead to a swift war with Israel - but one that Tehran cannot possibly win.
If Iran obtained a nuclear bomb, Iran would be committing national suicide if it was used to try to wipe US ally Israel off the face of the earth and then go for the United States. With its own nuclear arsenal of an estimated 200 warheads, Israel alone could reduce Iran's cities to radioactive rubble.
Although the US “has designed and deployed" an upgraded GBU-57, a 30,000-pound bunker-buster bomb known as Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) that has the ability to end Iran’s nuclear program, there is still doubt over whether the Pentagon has already provided MOPs to Israel.
Nonetheless, the Israelis and their Saudi allies have managed to come up with a roughly comparable substitute for the American MOAB Bunker Buster Bombs and have managed to convert a Boeing 707 tanker to a weaponized platform to carry such bombs.
The beta test was carried out on the Iranian missile base in Yemen during the recent Saudi operation Decisive storm against the Iranian proxies (Houthis) and their Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) handlers. Finally, the Israeli-Sunni coalition now has a feasible military option against the Iranian nuclear facilities.
Beyond their rhetoric the Iranian leadership understands that they cannot win a military contest against the US or [Israel], nor hold the Strait of Hormuz or the [Gulf of Aden] for longer than a few days. For Iran then, as with Israel, regional war is far from desirable.
Alternately, if Israel decides to go it alone and attack Iran, Iranian retaliation would be unlikely to produce an escalation leading to regional war.
Time is running out. And before it is too late, the Israeli leadership must act now and ask questions later. Nothing else will work. There is no other option left but a preventive strike to stop Tehran from building nuclear weapons.
The writer was clinical research-physician-general surgeon for Saudi Arabian, Philippine andAmerican healthcaresystems and is currently an American freelance writer as well as op-ed contributor.