Israel's Military Option Won't Vanish in a Post-Iran Deal Era - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
According to Israeli intelligence assessments, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has not given up on his goal of possessing nuclear weapons.
Therefore, Israel has no intention of forfeiting its capability to launch an assault on the Iranian nuclear program.
The IDF will set aside considerable defense budget funds to continue to build its long-range strike options.
The nuclear deal is bad because it leaves too much enrichment capability and infrastructure in Iranian hands that can lead to nuclear weapons in the future.
As long as the Iranian regime continues to officially call for Israel's destruction and retains a basis from which it could one day build nuclear weapons, Israel will retain its ability to intervene.
UN Calls on Palestinians to Provide Information on Missing Israelis - Edith M. Lederer (AP)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on Palestinians in Gaza with knowledge of two missing Israeli civilians to provide information about their possible whereabouts and conditions.
He also called for prompt action to facilitate their safe return to their families. Both men had entered Gaza at their own initiative.
FBI: Islamic State Supporter in Massachusetts Planned Attack on College - Adam Goldman (Washington Post)
Alexander Ciccolo, 23, was arrested July 4 after making preparations to launch a terrorist attack targeting a college cafeteria.
Drawing inspiration from the Boston Marathon bombing, Ciccolo said he wanted to use pressure cookers packed with shrapnel to attack a university in the Northeast.
After his arrest, Ciccolo was taken to a local correctional facility and given a routine medical screening. During the examination, he grabbed a pen and stabbed the nurse in the head.
Egypt Accuses Turkey of Subversion - Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
The Egyptian military revealed on July 8, 2015, that it had captured Turkish intelligence officers who were actively involved in the guerrilla war waged by the Islamic State in Sinai and inside Egypt itself against the Sisi regime.
The Turkish National Intelligence Organization (NIO) operatives named included Col. Ismail Aly Bal (described as a coordinator of battlefield operations), Diaa al-Din Mehmet Gado, Bakoush al-Husseyni Youzmi and Abdallah al-Turki.
On July 12, the Egyptian military spokesman announced the uncovering of a "terrorist cell" whose instructions were given by the Muslim Brotherhood headquartered in Turkey and whose mission was to destabilize Egypt.
Israeli military intelligence said that Turkey allowed the establishment of at least three training camps for jihadists on its territory bordering Syria and Iraq under the supervision and guidance of Turkish intelligence.
The writer, an analyst at the Jerusalem Center, was formerly Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Deputy Head for Assessment of Israeli Military Intelligence.
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- Nuclear Deal Reached with Iran - David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon
Iran and six nations led by the U.S. reached an accord on Tuesday to limit Tehran's nuclear capability in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions, Western diplomats said.
(New York Times)
See also Netanyahu: Iran Agreement "an Historic Mistake"
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday: "When you are willing to make an agreement at any cost, this is the result. From the initial reports we can already conclude that this agreement is an historic mistake for the world. Far-reaching concessions have been made in all areas that were supposed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. In addition, Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe."
"One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: 'Death to America.' We knew very well that the desire to sign an agreement was stronger than anything, and therefore we did not commit to preventing an agreement. We did commit to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and this commitment still stands." (Prime Minister's Office)
- Nuclear Deal Allows Iran to Block or Delay Inspections - George Jahn and Matthew Lee
A senior diplomat said the nuclear agreement reached Tuesday would allow UN inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites, but access would not necessarily be granted and could be delayed, a condition that gives Tehran time to cover up any sign of non-compliance with its commitments. Under the deal, Tehran would have the right to challenge the UN request and an arbitration board composed of Iran and the six world powers would have to decide on the issue.
See also Iran Nuclear Deal Maintains Weapons Embargo, Ban on Buying Missile Technology - Parisa Hafezi
Western diplomats said under the final agreement, Iran had accepted a "snapback" mechanism under which some sanctions could be reinstated in 65 days if it violated the deal. A UN weapons embargo would remain in place for five years and a ban on buying missile technology would remain for eight years.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Ya'alon: After "Bad" Iran Deal, Israel Must Be Prepared to Defend Itself - Lahav Harkov
"The [Iran nuclear] agreement as we understand it is bad, allowing Iran to legitimately be a nuclear-threshold state, with all that implies," Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. "This agreement will not lead to the closing of nuclear sites or to the destruction of one centrifuge," he said. "It somewhat limits the pace of uranium enrichment, but it leaves a lot of holes." Long-range missiles were not discussed, while Tehran plans to develop missiles that can reach the east coast of the U.S., he added.
"What concerns us every day is Iran's terrorist activity against us, through arming Hizbullah and funding Hamas and Islamic Jihad and giving them information to develop weapons, and their attempt to open a terrorist front against us in the Golan," he said. "After the agreement, we'll have Iran on the nuclear threshold and continuing to sponsor terrorism....The bottom line is, a bad deal is coming, and after it, we will have to be prepared to defend ourselves on our own." (Jerusalem Post)
- Battle to Thwart Iran Nuke Deal Not Over, Foreign Ministry Chief Vows - Raphael Ahren
Israel is going to actively lobby American congressmen to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran, Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold made clear in an interview. "We'll do it respectfully, but we have to tell the truth," he said. "It is natural that when the U.S. engages in diplomacy that affects its close allies that these allies have their own unique perspectives."
Gold warned that Iran has ambitions of global hegemony that constitute an existential threat to Israel. "Once Iran gets nuclear weapons, do you really believe that the West will operate against Iran in cases (where) Iran engages in robust terrorist acts? We're in a whole different universe."
"The fact is that Iran now has a terrorist presence in some 30 countries on five continents. Why did it have to have military operations in Argentina? Why is it penetrating all of South America? Why did it engage in terror operations in France and Austria, in Azerbaijan, India and Thailand? I believe that, in fact, the Iranians do have an ultimately global view."
"Finally, all the experts are aware that Iran is building space-lift capable rockets - which aren't just for putting mice into orbit, but are ultimately for giving Iran intercontinental ballistic missile capability." (Times of Israel)
- Weighing the Arguments for an Iran Deal - Bret Stephens
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, a supposed reformer, spent last Friday marching prominently in the regime's yearly "Death to America, Death to Israel" parade. If there is evidence of an Iranian trend toward moderation it behooves proponents of a deal to show it.
It's true that nobody wants war. But a deal that gives Iran the right to enrich unlimited quantities of uranium after a decade or so would leave a future president no option other than war to stop Iran from building dozens of bombs. And a deal that does nothing to stop Iran's development of ballistic missiles would allow them to put one of those bombs atop one of those missiles.
Maybe we'll get lucky. Maybe Iran will change for the better after Khamenei passes from the scene. Maybe international monitors will succeed with Iran where they failed with North Korea. Or maybe we won't be lucky.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Give the Mullahs Ballistic Missiles? - Andrew J. Bowen
Lifting the arms embargo on Tehran would be a major capitulation to Iran and one that directly threatens U.S. national security.
Iranian ballistic missiles outfitted with Russian or Chinese quality precision-guidance munitions could be devastating for U.S. and GCC naval and air bases.
Matthew McInnis, a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former senior expert on Iran at CENTCOM, argues, "Iran is even attempting to develop ballistic missiles to hit U.S. aircraft carriers from hundreds of miles offshore. With more Chinese help it could finally accomplish this goal."
Greater access to advanced missiles, artillery, and combat vehicles could empower a range of Iranian proxy forces - from Lebanese Hizbullah to the Syrian National Defense Forces (a sectarian paramilitary organization tantamount to Iran's Basij) to Palestinian Hamas.
The writer is a Senior Fellow and Director of Middle East Studies at the Center for the National Interest.
- Even After the Nuclear Talks Conclude, Terrorism Will Still Be Iran's Calling Card - Aki Peritz
There's a nagging fundamental that will torpedo any further U.S.-Iranian rapprochement: policymakers in Tehran still perceive acts of terror to generate real political dividends. They assess that terrorism works - including, when it suits them, terrorism against American interests. An agreement to keep Tehran from the bomb doesn't change this overall calculus.
Iran remains committed to its revolutionary ideology and its international ambitions. Humiliating the U.S. on the heels of "winning" the nuclear talks would provide Iran further political capital. As a top IRGC official, Ali Shirazi, recently said, "We shall not rest until we raise the flag of Islam over the White House." (Overt Action)
Nuclear-Hungry Iran Is Pulling the Wool Over Our Eyes - Amos Yadlin (The Times-UK)
- A deal between Iran and the West, Russia and China on its nuclear program is due to be unveiled, without real assurances that Iran's program is properly defanged.
- There are three likely scenarios for where the world goes from here:
- Iran somehow transforms itself into a less malign state and constructively engages with the family of nations. Unfortunately, this is highly unlikely.
- Iran decides in a few years to renege on its commitments, as North Korea did in 2003. If Tehran calculates that the gains of this approach outweigh the retaliation it would provoke by the West, there is no doubt they will go for the bomb. Israel and the international community must maintain a credible military option at all times to stop Iran producing a nuclear weapon.
- Iran plays it safe, keeping to the letter if not the spirit of the agreement, while waiting for any restrictions on it to expire in a decade. While doing this, Iran improves its technological know-how, continues to sponsor terrorism, and calls for the destruction of Israel.
- The deal and the lifting of sanctions on Tehran will pour more than $100 billion into Iran. Even a fraction of that sum will triple the budgets of terrorists such as Assad, Hizbullah and Hamas.
- Israel learned long ago that taking out a nuclear program doesn't equate to war. The U.S. and NATO possess the capacity to strike Iran's nuclear infrastructure with devastating power, while simultaneously deterring Iran's leadership from escalating further.
Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, chief of Israeli military intelligence from 2006 to 2010, is director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
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