A U.S. source told Reuters this week that Iran has dropped some of the demands that had prevented the closing of a new nuclear deal, including that IAEA probes into suspicious activity be stopped.
Former U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams told the Jerusalem Post that “if we sign an agreement without insisting on answers, Iran will have won this negotiation and we will have abandoned the IAEA.”
It seems unlikely, however, that after all the haggling, Iran has dropped its demand to be allowed to keep the highly-enriched uranium it has accumulated since breaching the original 2015 deal. The current amounts make Iran something like a de facto threshold state. The Iranians insist that allowing them to keep the uranium would serve as a guarantee against the U.S. pulling out of the deal.
Israeli experts believe that Iran has reached the point at which a deal would no longer be effective because it will continue with its secret nuclear program. Just a few months ago, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran was several weeks away from having enough material to break out to a bomb. But now the conventional wisdom is that it already has enough material, meaning a deal would just be a gift in the form of sanctions relief.
According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, by the first year after sanctions are lifted, Iran will have raked in $274 billion and by 2030 this figure will stand at $1 trillion. By that point, Iran will also have the necessary industrial apparatus to produce a large number of nuclear bombs unencumbered by the deal, whose main provisions will have expired.
This means that a state with regional and global imperialistic ambitions, which has publicly stated that it wants to destroy Israel, would have a nuclear weapon to achieve its malign goals. Iran’s nuclear program picked up after U.S. President Joe Biden took office and a government was installed in Israel. The Iranians assess that Biden will not dare attack them, particularly in light of the Afghanistan fiasco. This is their strategy, and they believe Israel will not act without U.S. approval, which will not be granted. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has announced that he will follow a policy of “no surprises” with the Americans.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer has recently said that the U.S. appears to have shifted to a policy of containment regarding Iran. This means that Washington has abandoned its goal of preventing Iran’s nuclearization. Israel must not agree to this lack of U.S. resolve and should go over the heads of U.S. policymakers to win over the American public.
This goes beyond military or technical aspects of the problem. Israel must have the right leaders who know how to deal with Iran in the new chapter that is about to begin.
Amnon Lord is a veteran journalist, film critic, writer and editor.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.