America’s Rejection of the Nuclear Deal Didn’t Get Iran Closer to Developing the Bomb

March 16 2021

In an interview in the Israeli press, the recently retired deputy head of the Mossad—that is, the person not picked to take over from the outgoing director—opined that Israel’s situation vis-à-viz Iran is worse now than it was in 2015. The former intelligence officer, known only as “A,” went on to criticize Jerusalem’s handling of the nuclear threat from the Islamic Republic, asserting that the ayatollahs would be further from getting the bomb if Prime Minister Netanyahu had not encouraged the U.S. to reject the 2015 nuclear deal. Jacob Nagel, a former Israeli national-security adviser, disagrees:

From the signing of the deal to the American withdrawal from it three years later, Iran has used every lifting of restrictions provided by the accord to push forward its uranium enrichment, bolster its technological capabilities, and produce advanced centrifuges. . . . The continued production of advanced centrifuges (allowed by the 2015 deal) essentially let Iran go underground with its operations. It later emerged that the accord did not take into consideration the storage of materials and production methods, which led to a miscalculation in the time it would take Iran to reach a nuclear tipping point.

Blaming Israel’s conduct or President Trump’s withdrawal from the accord is absurd.

A return to the 2015 deal would allow Tehran to install new advanced infrastructure at its covert facilities and obtain enough enriched uranium needed for the bomb. There is no way back to the old accord.

As [its critics] predicted, the deal failed, but not because of Israel, but rather because the accord failed to achieve the very goals it set out to accomplish. . . . Recommendations on returning to it and upgrading it down the road are a serious misjudgment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Mossad, US-Israel relations

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada