Nuclear Talks with Iran were Extended: Did Israel’s Mossad Actually Fail to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program? Looks That Way

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — currently ensnarled in political controversies at home, with an eye toward scheduling elections early in 2015 and perhaps forming a new coalition — took some time out to express satisfaction with what has happened in the P5+1 talks with Iran on the nuclear issue.

He likes the failure to reach a new agreement, because any new accord would permit Iran to keep enriching uranium — and, though Iran denies, continue to build the potential of producing nuclear bombs.

Did Meir Dagan and the Mossad fail? (Dagan on CBS' "60 Minutes," 2012)

Did Meir Dagan and the Mossad fail? (Dagan on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” 2012)

Netanyahu is happy enough with the decision to extend the deadline for success for another seven months.  He will keep warning the P5+1 — those are the U.N. Security Council’s Permanent 5 (U.S., Russia, China, Britain, and France) + Germany — that “no deal would be better than signing a bad deal.”

What would Israel and the world powers do, if no deal is reached by July 2015?  That is left intentionally ambiguous, even as Netanyahu has returned to a bit of saber-rattling by repeating that Israel reserves the right to defend itself by all possible means.

Netanyahu and his intelligence minister, Yuval Steinitz (who is also “minister of strategic affairs”), have lobbied the Western countries — and apparently Russia and China — to clamp down hard on Iran’s nuclear potential: to demand that all uranium enrichment in Iran stop, and that Iran be compelled to export all the enriched uranium it has amassed.

Yet the P5+1 countries were clearly negotiating with Iran on how many centrifuges for uranium enrichment it may continue to operate and what type of centrifuges — while demanding more intensive monitoring by U.N. nuclear inspectors.  Still unknown is how Iran might convince Western governments that it is not running secret nuclear facilities. In addition, Iran resists any inspections or oversight of its military technology programs, including the development of medium- and long-range missiles.

We shall write more — soon — on the question of whether Israel has actually succeeded in stopping Iran’s nuclear program.

The former Mossad chief under Netanyahu and his predecessors Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert — Meir Dagan — has publicly claimed that a combination of covert action and sanctions did prevent Iran from marching nuclear bomb capability. Yet we are finding plentiful, though disturbing, reasons to declare that Iran is already a “nuclear threshhold state.”

Iran could, if it so chooses, advance quickly to the status of being “one turn of screwdriver” away from building a nuclear bomb.  Is that not failure, more than a decade (so far) of Israel’s secret war to stop Iran’s nuclear potential?

November 30, 2014

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