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Legitimizing Iran As a Threshold Nuclear Power

In today’s speech before Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak out against the legitimization of Iran as a world nuclear power. Such a thought is frightening to those who support Israel. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Yaakov Lappin says that the current deal being discussed is a bad one, as it endangers Israel:

The emerging Iran nuclear deal spells trouble.

For the past several months, Israeli security officials have privately been expressing concern over the emerging deal between the Obama Administration and the Iranian regime over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Defense officials familiar with the complex threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions have sought to stay clear of political statements, instead offering straightforward explanations as to why the deal, as it appears to be forming, will pose an extremely serious problem for the security of Israel and other Middle Eastern states in the path of Iran’s seemingly hegemonic aspirations.

Leaving aside the many technical details that are part of the wider picture of Iran’s nuclear activities, the essential problem with the would-be deal is that it will leave Iran with an enhanced ability to enrich uranium — an ability that can lead Iran to nuclear weapons production in a relatively short time.

The purpose of an agreement is to push Iran away from the ability to make nuclear weapons. Israel does not oppose the idea of an agreement, but it opposes the particular formula apparently being advanced in diplomatic talks.

The strength or weakness of any agreement rests on how long it would give the U.S. or Israel to respond in case Iran violates the agreement. An agreement that would be acceptable to Israel is one in which Jerusalem would have sufficient time to respond in case Iran violates it.

Under the terms of what seems to be the current proposal, however, the amount of time needed might not be adequate — meaning that Israel may not be able to consider itself bound by the agreement.

According to reports surfacing from the talks, the proposed arrangement will likely leave a good portion of the Islamic Republic’s large number of known centrifuges, which enrich uranium, intact.

For Israel, this negative development has all the potential to turn a critical strategic security threat into an existential one.

Tags: Iran , Israel

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