Israel’s New Approach to the Nuclear Deal With Iran
The Bennett government in Israel has resigned itself to the idea that the upcoming nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran is preferable to a non-agreement. This is clearly in sharp contrast to the Netanyahu doctrine that fought ceaselessly against what it considered a “bad agreement.” Netanyahu argued that the nuclear agreement paved a legal way for Iran to acquire a nuclear bomb. At the end of this month, Iran “agreed” to return to the negotiating table in Vienna after a hiatus of almost six months. The Iranians used the time to advance their timeline toward a nuclear bomb.
On August 17, 2021, CBS News reported in a headline that “Iran (is) producing more uranium metal that can be used to make a nuclear bomb.” The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Marino Grossi said that his inspectors had confirmed that Iran had now produced 200 grams of uranium metal enriched up to 20%.
The production of uranium metal is disallowed by the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, also known by the name Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The nuclear deal promised Iran sanctions relief and other economic incentives in exchange for limiting its nuclear program. It seems, however, that Iran’s ultimate aim is to develop a nuclear bomb. Iran of course, denies that it is seeking to develop a bomb, but given its record of cheating, its claim that its uranium metal enrichment is for a civilian program is rather laughable.
While Israel would not publicly oppose the new nuclear negotiations, Israel facing an Iranian threat means preparing a Plan C, which would involve military action. Gantz told Foreign Policy that, “If push comes to shove we’ll get there, we are not America, but we have our capabilities.” Gantz warned the world powers that if they should fail to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, it would lead to a regional nuclear arms race. “Other states won’t just sit quietly…they’ll buy it directly off the shelf from Pakistan or whomever they can.”