Friday, December 13, 2013

Why Israel Won’t Abide Any Iran Nuclear Accord

With or without nuclear weapons, Iran and its allies are the chief impediments to Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

(Image: ajagendorf25 / Flickr)
The interim nuclear deal that was finally clinched between Iran and the world powers in Geneva in last November has been hailed by many in the West as a historic breakthrough for international diplomacy.Israel is unlikely to support any agreement that brings Iran into the international fold—and it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. 

In return for provisional and modest sanctions relief, the deal enforces measures that guarantee to curb, but not dismantle, Tehran’s nuclear activities in a verifiable fashion. Describing the accord as a “first step” that “achieves a great deal,” U.S. President Barack Obama asserted shortly after the conclusion of negotiations that “for the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”

“Simply put,” he added, the plan “cut[s] off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb.”

Other Western governments, including the British and French, have made more or less optimistic pronouncements about the prospects for the interim Geneva pact to curtail nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and consolidate the structures of global security—it’s “good for the whole world,” as the UK foreign secretary summed up the accord.

But in Israel, where leaders have brushed aside assurances from Obama administration officials that the deal actually “makes Israel safer,” opposition to the hard-earned consensus borders on the obsessive.

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