There is only one logical solution to the firestorm swirling around the Iranian nuclear agreement - publish and be damned! Otherwise only the Iranians and Yukiya Amano, the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, know what exactly is in it. It's true. Even Senators in Washington, who are set to vote on it next month, are still in the dark. Be they Democrats or Republicans, how can they vote in good conscience if they don't know what they're voting on? The question is also whether even President Barack Obama himself and Secretary of State John Kerry have been leaked the details of the IAEA's sacrosanct accord with Tehran?
At last month's Congressional hearing, Kerry admitted that he had not seen the secret deal, 'but maybe Wendy Sherman (his top aide) had'. Moreover, in berating Israel for opposing the accord, both Obama and Kerry have called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to come up with an alternative. So here it is - publish all the secret clauses and be damned! What else can be expected from Israel, both government and opposition, when Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other senior officials declare that foreign inspectors will not be granted access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities? (Where else would Iran conduct its secret weapons research if not in bases like Parchin?)
We're not talking here about Norway or Canada, but a fanatical Islamist state that has threatened to wipe ‘the Zionist cancer’ off the map.
An Israeli official told Haaretz newspaper that it's time to come clean. (Until now, the U.S. has been hiding behind the pretext of the IAEA practice of keeping secret its nuclear arrangements with individual countries. We're not talking here about Norway or Canada, but a fanatical Islamist state that has threatened to wipe ‘the Zionist cancer’ off the map. With all due respect, this sounds like a cop-out. Would this be Washington's position if Iran already had developed ICBM's that could target the American homeland?
"Of all the wonders that I have heard, it seems to me most strange..." (Shakespeare)
This quote came to mind when I heard that 340 American rabbis and other Jewish high fliers have signed declarations in favor of the nuclear accord. How can they have done so when even their own Senators and Congressmen say they don't know what's in it? Or was it necessary to prove you have no dual loyalty? And on second thought, would they also be so sanguine if Iran already had ICBMs reaching America? Don't presume to know better than the vast majority of Israelis, doves and hawks in the government and opposition, who believe the deal is very bad for them, their children and grandchildren.
There were signs that the secret side deal with Iran would gradually be exposed, but the AP exclusive report from Vienna was still a shocker. You had to read it twice to grasp the significance:
Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site (Parchin) that it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the UN agency...
"Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site (Parchin) that it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the UN agency that normally carries on such work, according to a document seen by the AP."
The AP report gutted Obama's claim that the nuclear accord was not based on trust, but on rigorous inspections that would cut off all the pathways to a nuclear weapon. The Parchin case is so important, not only because it vindicates Israel's charges that Iran has been working on nuclear detonators there (nearly everyone now concedes that Israel has been right all along about Iran's drive for A-Bombs), but now more importantly, it should set a reliable precedent for future IAEA inspections, even though the Iranians have been observed trying to clean up all the evidence.
In denying the AP report, the IAEA's Amano even released some of the inspection clauses. However, these disclosures only muddied the waters. They refer repeatedly to inspections that are mutually agreed upon with Iran and that also take into account Iran's military concerns. Armin Rosen, an international expert on Iran and the nuclear issue puts it this way:
"Iran's formulas and methods limiting the IAEA's reach are now apparent, at least as Parchin is concerned. Whether or not the Parchin agreement is part of a larger trade off to ensure IAEA's access to other possibly more important sites is currently unknown - the other implementation agreement on who IAEA inspectors can talk to and what facilities they can visit as part of their investigations is still secret."
Nuclear deal already sparks regional flare-up...
5:30 PM, Thursday evening: In Galilee and on the Golan Heights Israeli air raid sirens start wailing. Tens of thousands of Israeli vacationers are visiting these beautiful areas and most shrug it off as a malfunction or drill. A few seconds later they hear the explosions of incoming rockets and race with their children for cover.
Two rockets landed in Galilee and two more on the Golan. They were launched from inside Syrian territory held by the Syrian Army of President Basher Assad. During the current civil war, rockets and mortars have inadvertently landed inside Israel - a result of Syria's ongoing civil war. This was the first since 1973 that the Syrian regime allowed the rocketing of Israel. Israeli jets, artillery and tanks retaliated by hitting Syrian Army military targets in the biggest IDF counter-attack since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war over four years ago. There were no Israeli casualties, but there were obviously Syrian losses. Several hours later the all clear was sounded. The Israeli visitors said they had every intention of continuing their vacations as planned.
Yaalon left no doubt that Iran, which now calls the shots in Syria, had instigated the rocket attack and has now been emboldened by the nuclear deal.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon pointed the finger at the Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian terror group that is supported by Iran. Yaalon left no doubt that Iran, which now calls the shots in Syria, had instigated the rocket attack and has now been emboldened by the nuclear deal. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Netanyahu toured the northern area and warned that Israel is keeping a wary eye on what is transpiring along the frontier. Senior IDF officers have warned of a mounting Iranian presence in Syria.
In the past, an Israeli airstrike killed an Iranian general and a key Hezbollah leader who were touring very near the Israeli border, apparently with the aim of stepping up attacks on Israel. The next morning, Israeli aircraft destroyed a vehicle carrying the Islamic Jihad rocket squad, killing the four or possibly five members. A senior IDF officer disclosed that the terrorists had been detected and followed and then attacked from a distance of some ten kilometers.