Western Powers, Iran on Brink of Bad Deal

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


IranIsrael—and Sunni Arab states of the Middle East led by Saudi Arabia—watched with trepidation on Wednesday as the P5+1 countries and Iran reconvened in Geneva for another round of nuclear talks.

British foreign secretary William Hague spoke of narrow differences and a historic deal being in reach. “It is the best chance for a long time,” he told an Istanbul news conference, “to make progress on one of the gravest problems in foreign policy.”

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov—whose country is not exactly a foe of Iran, having helped it build its Bushehr nuclear reactor—said: “We hope the efforts that are being made will be crowned with success at the meeting that opens today in Geneva.”

In a sort of prelude to this lovefest, on Tuesday Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif released a YouTube video in which he said:

For us, nuclear energy is about securing the future of our children, about diversifying our economy, about stopping the burning of our oil, and about generating clean power.

In other words, meet the new, hip, enlightened Iran, second to none in its concern for clean power and diversity.

Zarif did not explain why, if those are Iran’s innocent aims, it has been spending billions of dollars for decades in developing bomb-grade uranium, a reactor for making plutonium bombs, intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear triggering devices, and so on. But sometimes diversity and clean power come with certain accoutrements.

The depressing picture that emerges, though, is of an ongoing courtship the Western powers—still with the possible exception of France—cannot resist; while the non-Western members of the P5+1—Russia and China—have been abetting Iran for years anyway.

To the Obama administration and the Europeans an interim agreement at this point, followed by a supposed six-month trial period for further diplomacy, looks enticing indeed. It takes the proverbial military option off the table, at last giving that supposedly heavily weighted table some rest. It puts Israel in a position where, for its part, it cannot exercise a military option without becoming a rogue state responsible for wrecking a peace process. And by relaxing sanctions it opens the gates—very cautiously and reversibly, we’re told—to renewed, lucrative trade with the expansionist, terror-supporting Shiite power which, after all, is a source of good business.

By this time, the objections of Israel—and its not-so-tacit Arab allies on this issue—to the deal said to be taking shape are well known. The deal requires Iran to suspend uranium enrichment temporarily while leaving all 19,000 of its enrichment devices—that is, centrifuges—in place. It requires Iran to stop fueling its Arak plutonium reactor but not to stop building it. And it relaxes what we’re told will be only a few billion dollars’ worth of sanctions, but which Israel says will quickly snowball to $20-$40 billion worth and more.

This week Israel’s former national security adviser Yaakov Amidror, who stepped down only a few weeks ago, said in an unusually blunt statement that Israel could set back Iran’s nuclear program “for a very long time,” that its air force has been conducting “very long-range flights …all around the world,” and that:

We are not bluffing. We are very serious, preparing ourselves for the possibility that Israel will have to defend itself by itself. From here to Iran, it is 2,000 kilometers [1,243 miles], and you have to be familiar with such destinations. All those who have radar cover of the Middle East know what we are doing.

The coming days may tell whether the U.S. and Europe are eager for a deal at just about any price, whether the supposed sticking point of Iran’s insistence on a “right” to enrich uranium can be finessed, and whether France is indeed in the Sunni Arabs’ and Israel’s camp and will seriously oppose a bad deal. The first two seem likely, the third more dubious, but time—possibly not much more time—will tell.

If things continue in their downward trend, with a bad, easily-violated deal creating passive satisfaction in Washington, Brussels, London, and Berlin, the sanctions crumbing as Western and Chinese firms leap happily into all sorts of loopholes, and Iran retaining all its capabilities, Israel will be left facing a test.

A few days ago Britain’s Sunday Times—known for sensationalistic stories about Israeli security issues—ran a report claiming that the Mossad and Saudi officials are working together on “contingency plans” for a strike on Iran. Far-fetched? Maybe; but desperation can produce strange friendships.

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  • Bert

    When Iran, the center of global terrorism now threatens to go nuclear in a big way there is only ONE tiny country in the entire world that is prepared to act. ALL the powers in the world are displaying moral rot and have learned nothing from history. Israel may be tiny but on a moral level it stands alone as the ethical superpower. Without Israel the rest of the world is prepared to stand by while Islamic Iran is pulling the world down into a new dark age of Islamic dominance. Israel should do whatever it chooses to defend itself and without regard to the consequences to a world that is thoroughly corrupt. The same world that allowed the Holocaust in WWII is little different today and will surely stand by for another Holocaust in Israel.

  • Bert

    When Iran, the center of global terrorism now threatens to go nuclear in a big way there is only ONE tiny country in the entire world that is prepared to act. ALL the powers in the world are displaying moral rot and have learned nothing from history. Israel may be tiny but on a moral level it stands alone as the ethical superpower. Without Israel the rest of the world is prepared to stand by while Islamic Iran is pulling the world down into a new dark age of Islamic dominance. Israel should do whatever it chooses to defend itself and without regard to the consequences to a world that is thoroughly corrupt. The same world that allowed the Holocaust in WWII is little different today and will surely stand by for another Holocaust in Israel.

    • Wolfthatknowsall

      I once talked to a well-known Rabbi, who had written a book on the Holocaust. I had asked him how he reconciles the Jewish people’s chosenness with the events of the Holocaust. This was his reply to me:

      “Isolation, hatred, and murder-in-the-mass are the inevitable result of being chosen by God. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.”

      Israel, once again isolated and hated, faces those whose hatred for them would end in murder-in-the-mass. I’m no longer surprised by this, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Israel acts to defend herself.

      • TheOrdinaryMan

        But why did God allow his chosen people to be nearly exterminated?

        • Wolfthatknowsall

          Is it a question of “allowing” six million of them to be exterminated? Or is it more a question of ancient hatreds combined with modern ideologies and technologies that brought about the near-extermination of Europe’s Jews?

          And let’s not forget that the agent of the Holocaust could have been stopped in his tracks early on, and Europe’s leaders did nothing but appease him.

        • Simon Timothy

          The answer is given in Deutronomy 28:38- 68. Already foretold some 1000 years before they were scattered by Gen. Titus ( later Caesar). Also their re-gathering as a nation – today’s Israel – was announced by God in Ezekiel 36:24; 37:21,22 and Jeremiah 29:14.

    • defcon 4

      I hope you’re not suggesting that it’s only Iran that’s “pulling the world down into a new dark age of Islamic dominance.”

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    I once talked to a well-known Rabbi, who had written a book on the Holocaust. I had asked him how he reconciles the Jewish people’s chosenness with the events of the Holocaust. This was his reply to me:

    “Isolation, hatred, and murder-in-the-mass are the inevitable result of being chosen by God. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.”

    Israel, once again isolated and hated, faces those whose hatred for them would end in murder-in-the-mass. I’m no longer surprised by this, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Israel acts to defend herself.

  • Mladen_Andrijasevic

    I am often asked why stupidity and not design? Because how else can one explain the Obama administration rushing into a deal with Iran, the outcome of which would be a nuclear war? There is no other explanation but stupidity. Ignorance falls in that category too because only the stupid would fail to educate themselves on the motives that drive their enemies .

    The quintessence of the US-Israel split on Iran
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2013/11/the-quintessence-of-us-israel-split-on.html

  • Mladen_Andrijasevic

    I am often asked why stupidity and not design? Because how else can one explain the Obama administration rushing into a deal with Iran, the outcome of which would be a nuclear war? There is no other explanation but stupidity. Ignorance falls in that category too because only the stupid would fail to educate themselves on the motives that drive their enemies .

    The quintessence of the US-Israel split on Iran
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2013/11/the-quintessence-of-us-israel-split-on.html

  • oedipus

    Truly a formidable ally Israel has chosen here. The true “Keepers of the Faith”, who had to import French mercenarys to end the siege of Mecca ’79. The mighty House of Saud, that had to import Western Forces to liberate their Royal neighbours ’90 in Kuwait. When the bell is rung, the Saudis will be of shopping to Paris, Monacco and Zurich. Perhaps they’ll leave a few of their Indians of Sri Lanki croonies to show the israelis the way to the front. LOL

  • oedipus

    Truly a formidable ally Israel has chosen here. The true “Keepers of the Faith”, who had to import French mercenarys to end the siege of Mecca ’79. The mighty House of Saud, that had to import Western Forces to liberate their Royal neighbours ’90 in Kuwait. When the bell is rung, the Saudis will be of shopping to Paris, Monacco and Zurich. Perhaps they’ll leave a few of their Indians of Sri Lanki croonies to show the israelis the way to the front. LOL

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    But why did God allow his chosen people to be nearly exterminated?

  • keithj

    Time for GOD’S chosen people to take a leadership role and a decide to grasp the defining moment of its destiny.

  • keithj

    Time for GOD’S chosen people to take a leadership role and a decide to grasp the defining moment of its destiny.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    Is it a question of “allowing” six million of them to be exterminated? Or is it more a question of ancient hatreds combined with modern ideologies and technologies that brought about the near-extermination of Europe’s Jews?

    And let’s not forget that the agent of the Holocaust could have been stopped in his tracks early on, and Europe’s leaders did nothing but appease him.

  • defcon 4

    I hope you’re not suggesting that it’s only Iran that’s “pulling the world down into a new dark age of Islamic dominance.”

  • Keep_God_Out_Of_California
  • $71073356
    • Wolfthatknowsall

      Thank God he can still fire his Browning .50-cal. At least, he’s a patriot to the end …

      By the way, you don’t need to fight a war to keep God out of California. I don’t think he’s been there, for a while, from the way the State looks …

    • alericKong

      Californinan leftist you waste your time supporting, no cartoon needed:

      http://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/intelligencer/2013/07/26/26-filner.o.jpg/a_560x375.jpg

    • defcon 4

      You’ll keep G-d out of Californication — and replace him w/allah.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    Thank God he can still fire his Browning .50-cal. At least, he’s a patriot to the end …

    By the way, you don’t need to fight a war to keep God out of California. I don’t think he’s been there, for a while, from the way the State looks …

  • alericKong

    Californinan leftist you waste your time supporting, no cartoon needed:

    http://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/intelligencer/2013/07/26/26-filner.o.jpg/a_560x375.jpg

  • Simon Timothy

    The answer is given in Deutronomy 28:38- 68. Already foretold some 1000 years before they were scattered by Gen. Titus ( later Caesar).

  • defcon 4

    You’ll keep G-d out of Californication — and replace him w/allah.

  • Taimoor Khan

    Look at the Zionists Jewish Americans on this site trying to forward Israeli interests while being supposedly American. I think common Americans should see the treachery. Zionist American Jews are more loyal to Israel than America and want America to play Israel’s game. They are a dividing force. They have been like this in many other countries in history and paid a price as well. Those Jews were never loyal to their homeland but were conniving for a “state”.

    • defcon 4

      Yes, because allah’s messenger and final prophet has taught us all we need to know about Jews hasn’t he?

      • Notalibfool

        He may have also learned from Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

        • defcon 4

          Only because they both reinforce his delusional, islamic Jew hatred w/pathetic lies.

  • Taimoor Khan

    To burst you bubbles, Israel is a reincarnation of Naz! Germany, with the difference that Naz! Germany regarded ethnic Germans as a superior people while Naz! Israeli state regards Jews as a superior people. What makes it worse than Naz! Germany is that while Naz! Germany was itself based on land historically German, Naz! state of Israel has occupied Palestinian land and made their racist state through occupation.

    Israel is the ONLY state born out of sin – a state spawned on racism and ethnicity, rather than historical realities. A state crafted through imperialist designs, export of settlers and expulsion of locals.

    It logically, ethically and rationally cannot exist.

    And it will not…

    • defcon 4

      A muslim accusing Israel of being a nazi state — the stupid irony is awe inspiring.

    • Notalibfool

      Oh, please. Not the pathetic “Israel is a Nazi state” nonsense.

      What about the other countries in the Middle East with their appalling treatment of minorities? Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria have plenty in common with Nazi Germany. Why don’t you speak out against them?

      You Jew haters are all alike. Paranoid, bigoted, and lacking the ability to think clearly.

    • defcon 4

      The hypocrisy of your lies speak loudly islam0nazi. After all, which religion separates the world into believers and the najjis kaffir but islam? What religion advocates the extermination or subjugation of unbelievers but islam? What religion is actually doing all the above but islam? Your moronic comparison of Israel to Naz! Germany might fly amongst your fellow deluded islam0fascists, just not among those not indoctrinated into your damn, dumb death cult.

      • Notalibfool

        The hypocrisy of all these Israel/Jew haters reeks. They turn their backs whenever atrocities are committed against Jews, Christians, etc but if Israel defends itself they start crying like babies.

    • Notalibfool

      You sound shockingly similar to a N A Z I yourself.