Israel’s calls the Iran Nuclear deal an ‘historic mistake’

Israeli leaders denounced the interim Iranian nuclear pact signed by the United States and five world powers as a “historic mistake” that does little to reverse Iran’s nuclear ambitions and instead makes the world a more dangerous place.

Israeli officials stressed that they would spend the next six months — the time frame for the interim agreement — seeking to push their friends and especially the White House to reach a deal with Iran that not only curbs Iran’s nuclear ambitions but also dismantles its program.

Israel wants to require Iran to dismantle its centrifuges, remove its enriched uranium and decommission its heavy water reactor in Arak, among other things, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

“Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world,” the Israeli prime minister said.

Netanyahu repeated a reference to his own red line by stating, “Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability.”

Here is a summary of the good, bad and the problems of the deal.

The good in this agreement are straightforward:
* a halt of work at Arak, the heavy water reactor that provides Iran a second route to a bomb
* A suspension of installation of new centrifuges
* Intrusive new inspections
* A cap on the stockpile of enriched uranium

The bad is in what is left out:
* all enrichment
* cooperation in revealing details of Iran’s military work at Parchin
* Construction (though not installation) of new centrifuges
* Reversal of nuclear progress

Chatting last week with a prominent nuclear expert in Washington (a Democrat), we talked about the problems with the then prospective deal. Ironically, we were in complete agreement:
* Phased deals such as this buy more time for the would-be nuclear state to advance its program while giving key concessions on the sanctions front.
* Sequenced agreements of this kind don’t work (viz: North Korea).
* The administration was too desperate for a deal.
* There will be no phase two.

In reality, Iran has given nothing of substance other than a “pause” in its program. The administration has left the hard work to the IAEA, including Parchin and verification. Any hint of suspicion that Iran will continue work at an as yet undisclosed secret site was missing. In return, while the concessions to Iran on sanctions are in and of themselves not dramatic, the reversal in momentum for sanctions and the loss of the psychology of impenetrable sanctions is of immeasurable value to Tehran. Dealmakers will be back, letters of credit will once again be available, and it will be the beginning of the end of international cooperation on sanctions.

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