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Israeli study warns Netanyahu against ending Iran nuclear deal

Image of Benjamin Netanyahu on 5 September 2012 [Utenriksdepartementet UD/Flickr]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 5 September, 2012 [Utenriksdepartementet UD/Flickr]

An Israeli study recently conducted by Tel Aviv’s Institution for National Security Studies warned about the negative consequences of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to cancel the nuclear deal with Iran. The institution called for maintaining the deal as the best option, stressing the need to continue coordination between Israel and the US against Tehran.

The study, conducted by General Amos Yadlin, states that although the nuclear deal with Iran poses a strategic danger to Israel in the long run, it would be wrong to think that cancelling the deal would not pose strategic dangers.

Yadlin notes that “opponents of the agreement argue that it actually paves the way for Iran to establish a nuclear threshold just short of a bomb, while in the second decade of the agreement there will be no way to stop Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold.

Opponents of the agreement also point to the additional financial resources available to Iran due to the removal of sanctions, allowing it to build conventional military strength, with the emphasis on ballistic missiles and advanced air defences, while funding subversive activities that undermine Middle East stability – matters not covered by the agreement.”

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According to senior Israeli air force pilot, Yadlin, “both proponents and opponents of the agreement present only partial analyses. In the short-term (the next 5-8 years), the agreement – provided Iran does not breach it – creates a strategic reality that is preferable to the “bomb-or-bombing” dilemma. The focus should be on comprehensive and intrusive inspections of the Iranian nuclear programme. Iran must remain at least one year away from the ability to produce nuclear weapons. In addition, Iran must be blocked from activities not covered by the JCPOA that harm American and Israeli interests.”

Avner Golov, who participated in the preparation for the study, said that “unlike the Obama administration, the Trump administration is not worried about Iranian withdrawal from the agreement and can thus work fervently to promote a new Security Council resolution that will forbid Iran to test missiles and cruise missiles that could in the future carry nuclear warheads.

It can seek to thwart Iran’s subversive activity in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq,” he continued, “and impose additional sanctions on the Iranian regime for its support for terror, missile tests that are contrary to a UN Security Council resolution and human rights violations. This pressure could also serve a future attempt to replace the JCPOA with a better deal.”

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The study also stressed the need to continue close coordination between Israel and the US in order to adopt a united front against Iran, despite the fact that Israel has the desire to “enjoy the determination of the American President to replace the agreement, or if necessary to withdraw from it”.

However, any recklessness on Washington and Tel Aviv’s part against Tehran would put them in the face of dangerous threats, even more so than those posed by the agreement itself, thus undermining “attainment of the common goal – preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons”.

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