What’s the true significance of the nuclear agreement between the United States (and its allies) and Iran?
-The military option is taken off the table. The U.S. certainly won’t strike Iran in the foreseeable future, and Israel wouldn’t dare defy America’s clear preference for a negotiated settlement.
-Iran will be allowed to be de facto a military nuclear threshhold nation. The number of months that the Iranians would need to “break out” quickly by enriching enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb is increased by the Geneva accord — but they remain able to do it.
-The security and foreign policy posture of the United States in the region is in decline. The Obama Administration might deny that, but smart people in the Middle East feel it and know it. (See Yossi Melman’s article by scrolling down at IsraelSpy.com or jump to it here.)
-Israel will feel, more than ever, that it has to go it alone. That does not mean that a military strike on Iran is likely — far from it. But Israel is already exercising diplomatic options than might have been considered absurd in the past. These are reliably reported to include secret understandings with Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations.
Israel has had time to prepare its diplomatic (and perhaps military-intelligence) repositioning. The Associated Press, in a detailed report on secret U.S.-Iran government talks this year, reveals that President Barack Obama personally briefed Israel about them when he met at the White House with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of September. Netanyahu kept the secret, but he did decide publicly to put a ton of daylight between Israel and the Obama Administration, when it came to dealing with Iran.