With just one day left before the end of the latest deadline for an Iran nuclear ‘deal’, rumours circulate in Israel that a deal has been done. There will be an agreement with Iran. Negotiations will end.
According to one Israeli report, a deal will be signed because the US has “made a series of capitulations over the past two to three weeks in almost every key aspect that was being debated” (“Iran deal ‘done,’ Israeli report says, after major US concessions”, Times of Israel, July 10, 2015). Another Israel report said that a diplomatic announcement about this deal will be presented July 13, 2015—but ‘some difficult issues’ remained (“Diplomats: Iran announcement planned Monday”, YNET, July 12, 2015). Still another Israel report said that diplomats are optimistic: a deal will be signed, all (major) sanctions against Iran will be lifted, Iran will get concessions, its struggle against the US will not have to end and the P5+1 negotiating nations will get to go home (Barak Ravid, “Western diplomat tells Haaretz: Optimism for nuclear deal by Monday”, Haaretz, July 12, 2015).
Everybody plans to be happy—except Israel. In this deal, Israel gets screwed.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to ‘deal’ rumours with a statement that read, “Iranian leader [Ali] Khamenei has said that the U.S. should be fought even if an agreement is reached, [Iranian President Hassan] Rohani is heading a hate march in which U.S. and Israeli flags are being burned and calls for death to America and Israel are being made, and at the same time, concessions are being offered to Iran…Iran is not hiding its intentions to continue with its murderous aggression against those who are now negotiating with it”. He then added that this deal paves a path for Iran to create multiple nuclear bombs and endangers the world at large (Haaretz, ibid).
While diplomats express optimism over ‘a deal’ Arutz Sheva reported parts of the Netanyahu statement not reported by others: “All of this is happening [optimism over a ‘deal’] as the parade of concessions to Iran continues in Vienna, even concessions on issues that have been marked as red lines during the talks in Lausanne…This march of giving concessions to Iran will feed hundreds of billions of dollars to its terror machine" (Hezki Ezra, “Netanyahu: Israel Won't Pay the Price of Capitulation to Iran”, Arutz Sheva, July 12, 2015).
As diplomats and Netanyahu reacted to the rumours, the Jerusalem Post added a new item. Teheran was preparing for a major celebration (Michael Wilner, “Tehran prepares for celebrations in the streets over anticipated nuclear deal”, Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2015).
This announcement seemed peculiar. The US wasn’t planning major celebrations over the end of talks. Neither was Russia—or anyone else in the P5+1. Why was Iran?
Perhaps Iran has reason to celebrate. Perhaps it’s going to celebrate more than just an end to seemingly endless talks. Perhaps Iran was preparing to celebrate a political triumph.
The fact that Iran might be preparing for a massive celebration over this deal doesn’t promise much for the rest of the world. After all, this ‘deal’ was supposed to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It was supposed to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power. It was supposed to hold Iran’s feet to the fire through ‘snap’ inspections into every nook and cranny of Iran’s nuclear program.
I don’t think Iran would celebrate if these anti-Iran goals had been met. But a massive celebration would be in order if Iran believed it had snookered the world out of its proverbial underpants. That would be a celebration worth holding.
If you want to understand why Iran would celebrate a deal designed to shut it down, look for the concessions the US made to make this deal work. Then look at what Iran promised to do in return for its signature.
In exchange for easily breakable promises, Iran gets billions upon billions of dollars when sanctions are (immediately) lifted. The only down-side here for Iran is that if Israel doesn’t like the deal, it might decide to protect itself. Israel could hit Iran with some kind of pre-emptive strike.
Iran won’t care. The billions it will have received from lifted sanctions will more than make up for the damage Israel could cause. The pain of an Israeli strike will be more than mollified by those billions upon billions of dollars.
In fact, a cynic might suggest that that’s what all of these talks were really about—the money: in exchange for promises to curtail nuclear work, Iran collects billions. The only country with the guts to attack Iran for non-compliance will be Israel. But all Israel would do, at worst, is bomb nuclear facilities in isolated desert spots. Israel will be too afraid of world reactions if it bombed anything else.
Let Israel bomb. Those released billions will buy a lot of terror attacks. There could even be enough left over to rebuild what Israel destroys.
Iran is crazy. They could believe in such a strategy.
If these ‘deal’ rumours are correct, Iran has hit the jackpot. No wonder they’re planning a celebration.