Kicking the Can Down the Road: Another Extension of the P5+1 Talks

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Amos Yadlin - The target date for concluding a final agreement on the Iranian nuclear program between Iran and the P5+1 world powers has been postponed yet once more, and many doubt whether Iran and the Western powers will ever be able to achieve an agreement. On July 1, 2015, if a "bad agreement" is signed or if the talks collapse, Israel will face a strategic situation that will demand difficult decisions. From the Israeli government's perspective, any agreement that could have been achieved on November 24 would have been a "bad agreement," because any agreement would have legitimized Iran's nuclear enrichment program, left Iran with a very short breakout time to the bomb, would not have resolved the questions regarding the Iranian missile programs or Iran's encouragement of terrorism, and would have removed the sanctions against Iran, enabling the regime to survive and thrive. An agreement that can be accepted by Israel, even if not ideal, must include rolling Iran back from a period of months to a period of years from a bomb, closing all routes of Iranian progress towards nuclear capability on the uranium and plutonium tracks, clarifying the military dimensions of the program over the years and constant monitoring of those dimensions in the future, implementing a comprehensive intrusive verification regime, insisting on a period of more than a decade during which the agreement is valid, and removing the sanctions gradually - only in exchange for full Iranian compliance. Israel must take proper advantage of the extension of the interim agreement to prepare and enhance all its options regarding the Iranian nuclear threat. Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, who served as the IDF's chief of Defense Intelligence, is director of INSS.

2014-11-27 00:00:00

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