It’s no holds barred, almost. In the current clash between the Obama Administration and Israel, both sides are pulling out all the stops. Secretary John Kerry has now warned that if the U.S. Senate blocks the deal it will trigger a devaluation of the U.S. dollar. Washington will hold her to account. Bear in mind that a majority of U.S. Senators also believe the Iranians have ‘fleeced’ Kerry and President Barack Obama.
What is more, there are more startling revelations. The Senators are now being asked to consent to a protocol on the key element of IAEA secret inspections about which they know nothing! Kerry has admitted he does not know the details, explaining that it’s standard practice for the IAEA to conclude secret inspection accords with individual member states. It turns out the Iranians will be able to take their own environmental samples from Parchin (Israel has revealed that she has ‘reliable information’ that Iran conducted secret nuclear weapons tests at Parchin).
In response, Republican Senator Bob Corker cracked:
It would be like the NFL allowing athletes, suspected of taking steroids, to mail in their own urine samples!
“It would be like the NFL allowing athletes, suspected of taking steroids, to mail in their own urine samples!”
Will Rogers, the esteemed humorist once cracked:
“I don’t tell jokes I just report on what our officials are doing in Washington.”
Actually, it’s not so funny if you and your grandchildren live in Israel.
Another outraged Senator, Lindsey Graham, has warned he will use his subcommittee chairmanship to cut off financing for the International Atomic Energy Agency unless it provides Congress with copies of its secret protocols with Iran.
In the midst of the 60-day run-up to the Senate vote, administration officials, from Obama on down, have argued that it’s the ‘best possible deal with Iran’. (Wrong! It’s the best possible deal for Iran). The latest to do so is Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz:
“This is already the famous ‘better deal’ – we have it in front of us.”
IDF Brig. Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, a former senior IDF intelligence officer has written a cryptic analysis in Haaretz entitled: ‘Stop trying to con us’. The intelligence expert has been tracking Iran’s nuclear weapons project for 27 years. In his estimate, the existential threat posed to the Jewish State is so grave that Israel must do everything up to the last moment to prevent the deal going through. To those who claim Israel ‘has been crying wolf for years’, he replies:
Without Israel’s actions, Iran would have obtained nuclear weapons several years ago.
“Without Israel’s actions, Iran would have obtained nuclear weapons several years ago.”
More importantly, Kuperwasser takes issue with administration officials who contend that Kerry got the optimum agreement and anyway Israel would have rejected any accord with Tehran.
First the intelligence expert defines what the U.S. administration has given Iran:
Lifted the sanctions, legitimized a ‘peaceful’ Iranian nuclear program, committed not to attack the underground military facility at Fordow, and acquiesced in Iran’s becoming the leading power in the region. This will bolster Iran’s terror campaign and attempts to eventually annihilate Israel. Obama has agreed to Iran (the world’s greatest sponsor of state terrorism) being allowed to purchase unlimited supplies of weapons five years into the accord, and actually permits Iran to develop an arsenal of nuclear weapons in a short time period after the 10-year prohibition.
Instead of this, Kuperwasser presented an agreement Israel could accept:
Destruction of surplus centrifuges (required solely for producing weapons grade uranium) and the infrastructure that services them, real and consecutive inspections including monitoring of Iranian nuclear scientists in and out of Iran, immediate extension of restrictions on Iran if she does not alter her nuclear weapons activities, reduction in the number of active centrifuges, and destruction of secret Fordow base built inside a mountain, which Obama himself had demanded previously.
…it is still possible to achieve such an accord if the U.S. starts acting like a superpower. However … Obama has been intimidated by the Iranians and some of his negotiating partners in the 5P+1.
In Kuperwasser’s opinion, it is still possible to achieve such an accord if the U.S. starts acting like a superpower. However, his impression is that Obama has been intimidated by the Iranians and some of his negotiating partners in the 5P+1. And while Obama accuses Bibi of the ‘fantasy’ for a better deal, the U.S. President himself had warned that all options were on the table to block Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. administration has even backed down on its previous demand for limitations on Iran’s development of long-range missiles (the delivery system for a nuclear warhead. Israel is already inside Iran’s missile range). Again when the Iranians disagreed, the U.S. backed off. It goes on – the U.S. also demanded Tehran come clean on its previous nuclear weapons development – again Tehran refused and cooked up the ludicrous deal with the IAEA.
‘The Administration’s Hollow Claims’ is the title of an article by Dr. Ephraim Kam, another prominent Israeli expert on Iran’s nuclear program. He takes issue with Obama’s claim that only Israel is opposed. What about Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and most of the Gulf Sates, which are apparently leery about going toe to toe with Washington? Riyadh has already hinted:
“Whatever the Iranians have, we’ll have!”
Doesn’t that sound like an alarm bell for a nuclear arms race in the region trigged by the deal? Kam notes that only Israel stood up and spoke out when Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein began his nuclear weapons drive with a reactor supplied by France. When the rest of the world twiddled their thumbs, Prime Minister Menachem Begin and his cabinet ordered the Israel Air Force to take out the reactor after Israeli intelligence had discovered it was ‘about to go hot’.
At the time, the Reagan administration hauled Israel over the coals and even imposed a temporary embargo on the delivery of American jets. When the facts became clear, Washington thanked Jerusalem for saving American lives. Moreover, Israel is not alone. Many American experts as well as Senators see the accord as a diplomatic Swiss cheese full of holes.
There is one key Israeli exception to the Israeli critics who believe this is a very dangerous deal, Ephraim Levi, a former head of the Mossad secret service. Halevi told NPR:
“Look this is not a perfect agreement. The agreement has weaknesses no doubt. But when you negotiate, you win some, you lose some.”
Halevi puts the stress on the inspections to be carried out by the IAEA:
“And on the issue of inspections, they are going to be handled by the UN Agency in Vienna. They’re going to extend the scope of their inspections, which will necessitate recruiting manpower in the numbers the like of which are without precedent. And how exactly these inspections are going to be carried out on military matters? On what is called the PMD, the previous military dimension – in other words, what it is Iran has done up to now – has been a sticking point for years. And the Iranians have now worked out a model in which they would address this problem. I think one has to reserve judgment on that and see how it pans out.”
From Netanyahu’s perspective, Israel’s security, maybe even her very survival, may hang in the balance. For Obama, it’s his prestige, judgment, and legacy…
Opps! We’ve just found out that the Iranians will be collecting their own samples from Parchin and mailing them in. Apparently Halevi was not ware of this when he stressed the importance of IAEA inspections on the ‘Possible Military Dimensions’.
It is fair to say that although there is an Israeli consensus that the proposed deal is bad, there are differences on how Israel should react. For example, although Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog opposes, it he thinks it is not in Israel’s best interest to clash with Obama. There are also some others who feel that it’s a done deal and that Israel should try to make the best of it by patching up relations with Washington and accepting an Obama offer to bolster Israel’s defense in the wake of a future Iranian threat.
Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens is not one of them. Arens praised Bibi’s grit in taking on Obama:
“From Netanyahu’s perspective, Israel’s security, maybe even her very survival, may hang in the balance. For Obama, it’s his prestige, judgment, and legacy. Israel, which is threatened with obliteration by Iran’s leaders, cannot afford to sit idly by and watch how Iran receives billions of dollars, most of which will go to foment terror against the Jewish state, while Tehran’s nuclear weapons clock keeps ticking away.”
Obama is aware that Israel’s security is threatened, and has said:
“In such a neighborhood Israel must remain on her guard, but the alternative is war.”
And then he warns, facetiously:
“Israel will be the first to be hit.”
It’s true the Americans know a great deal about [Israel’s] Air Force, but they don’t know everything.
At a public gathering, Arens then retired from politics, was asked if Israel had the military power to go it alone against Iran with a military strike. He refused to address the question, and then he added:
“I will say this. The number of people who actually know can be counted on the fingers of your two hands!”
On another occasion, Gen. (ret.) Herzl Bodinger, a former Israel Air Force commander, was asked if the Americans, through their close cooperation, know everything about Israel’s air capabilities. Bodinger replied:
“It’s true the Americans know a great deal about our Air Force, but they don’t know everything.”