Europe Shouldn’t Submit to Iranian Nuclear Blackmail

Last week, Iran declared that, unless Europe provides it with a $15 billion line of credit to make up for the damage supposedly done to its economy by U.S. sanctions, it will cease to abide by the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement. On September 8—two days after the threat supposedly went into effect—officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that they had discovered traces of uranium at what Israeli intelligence had already revealed was a secret military nuclear facility, only recently destroyed by the regime. The discovery is further evidence that Tehran had been in violation of both the non-proliferation treaty that it signed in 1970 and the 2015 nuclear deal long before its recent threats. Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director of the IAEA, and Tzvi Kahn write:

The United States and Europe would be making a mistake of historic proportions if they surrender to this latest Iranian threat. Instead, they should stand firm and make clear that Iran will receive sanctions relief only if it negotiates a comprehensive new nuclear deal . . . ensuring, in a verifiable manner, that it has abandoned its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Premature concessions would merely incentivize Iran to engage in further nuclear blackmail, thereby undermining the IAEA’s ability to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.
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In the face of Iran’s defiance, France is negotiating with Tehran—in coordination with other parties to the 2015 agreement—on a $15 billion letter of credit that would enable Iran to receive hard currency, thereby compensating it for the loss of oil sales resulting from U.S. sanctions. At the root of this proposal lies the apparent assumption that Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal—and the consequent economic crisis Iran faces—has spurred an Iranian decision to achieve a nuclear breakout in retaliation.

Thus, by mitigating Iran’s economic woes, the world could supposedly incentivize Iran to return to compliance with the nuclear deal. The truth is more complicated. In reality, Iran’s incremental nuclear violations aim not to start a war, but to project resolve and to weaken U.S. deterrence.

Read more at Fox News

More about: European Union, Iran, Iranian nuclear program, U.S. Foreign policy

 

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy