Iran and the P5+1 world powers
have announced that a framework deal on Iran nuclear program has been reached.
Israel is outraged,
believing this deal will transform the world into a ‘much more dangerous place’.
The landmark framework deal sets the stage for a final comprehensive agreement to be reached by June 30.
On Twitter, US Secretary of State John Kerry described the conclusion of the recent round of talks as a “big day”, saying that the European Union, P5+1 and Iran “now have parameters to resolve major issues on nuclear program. Back to work soon on a final deal.”
The Times of Israel reported an Israeli official saying “This is a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous deal. If an agreement is reached based on the guidelines of this framework, that would be an historic mistake which will transform the world into a much more dangerous place.”
In a phone call with President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned that “a deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel. Just two days ago, Iran said that the destruction of Israel is ‘non-negotiable,’ and in these fateful days Iran is accelerating the arming of its terror proxies to attack Israel.”
Netanyahu concluded that “This deal would legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.”
At a joint press conference with the European Union’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that we had accomplished “significant work” and that Iran will “continue enriching.”
While many key issues that were debated in the talks have not been resolved yet, many of the negotiators were positive about the results.
British foreign secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement that “this is well beyond what many of us thought possible even 18 months ago and a good basis for what I believe could be a very good deal.”
According to the parameters of the deal released by the U.S. State Department, Iran will reduce by two-thirds the amount of nuclear centrifuges, from 19,000 to 6,104, with only 5,060 of these able to enrich uranium. Furthermore, Iran has agreed not to enrich uranium over 3.67 percent for 15 years, far below the 90 percent enrichment needed for a nuclear weapon.
Additionally, Iran will convert its secretive underground military facility at Fordow so that it is no longer used to enrich uranium for at least 15 years. At the main nuclear reactor in Natanz, Iran has agreed to remove its more advanced centrifuges. At the Arak facility, Iran has agreed to rebuild its facility to no longer produce nuclear weapons-grade plutonium.
One of the most important key aspects of the framework deal is the breakout time needed for Iran to produce a nuclear weapon.
According to the framework, Iran’s current breakout time is assessed to be 2 to 3 months, however, that timeline will be extended to at least a year for a duration of at least 10 years under the deal.
The framework also establishes regular access for inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog. After the IAEA verifies that Iran has complied, the U.S. and E.U. will begin to lift nuclear-related sanctions. However, U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place.
“If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place,” the U.S. State Department said.
Behnam Ben Taleblu, a Iran research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told JNS.org that the framework deal laid out today “highlights both the achievements and shortcomings” of the original interim deal agreed to in 2013.
“While the specifications for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) released by the State Department involve a host of technical modifications, key Iranian sites like the Heavy Water reactor at Arak and the facility at Fordow will not be shuttered. The centrifuge cap is also higher than I would have liked,” he said.
“While the West may see this as yet another necessary interim measure to reach a comprehensive accord, Iran continues to see this a victory, chiefly for the continuation of its nuclear program,” Ben Taleblu added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up his opposition in recent days as the talks neared a framework, saying that it was “time for the international community to insist on a better deal.”
“A better deal would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Wednesday, “A better deal would link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior,” he added.
Iran Says We are Prepared for War with Israel
In the face of threats to his country’s existence, Netanyahu declares: “Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”
The latest news on Israel and Iran took an ironic twist as the March 24 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran quickly approaches. On Tuesday March 3, while United States Secretary of State John Kerry was negotiating a deal with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Geneva, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an impassioned cautionary speech to a joint meeting of the United States Congress in Washington DC.
Netanyahu warned that if the international community goes ahead with the deal that Kerry is negotiating, the safety and security of not only Israel, but also the United States and the entire free world will be gravely threatened.
Netanyahu reminded his listeners that during this time of year when Jewish people all over the world are celebrating the holiday of Purim, we remember that this is not the first time in history that a Persian empire has threatened the Jewish people’s existence.
About 2,500 years ago, Haman, a high official in the Persian Empire, set into motion a genocidal plan to do away with the Jews. Fortunately, the plan was foiled by the timely intervention of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, and we celebrate this victory until today.
Of course, since the days of Haman there have been many more brutal attempts by governments, groups and individuals to destroy the Jewish people. The modern day threat from Persian soil dates back to 1979.
when a radical Islamic regime seized power and implemented a constitution in which the preamble states clearly the country’s mission of Jihad, stating that it is the “hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government [Islamic] and the downfall of all others.”
Netanyahu stressed in his speech that even while Iran is currently dealing with imposed sanctions, it is still “gobbling up” nations in the Middle East. As such, he warned that it is irrational and dangerous to think that Iran’s regime will.
suddenly make a radical change, discard its militant Islamist ideology, and become a peace loving country after a deal is signed. He also warned that a “bad deal” like the one currently being negotiated has two perilous flaws: it leaves.
Iran’s nuclear program largely in place while ensuring that all limitations on it will be lifted after a decade.
Netanyahu cautioned that this type of deal will inevitably lead to a nuclear Iran, among other dire consequences. It is also likely to spur other Muslim countries to pursue nuclear weapons. Already in the past decade, as a reaction to Iran’s nuclear activities, more than a dozen Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, and Syria have renewed or began pursuing their nuclear capabilities, and more are likely to follow suit. Moreover, as Iran is a principal sponsor of global terrorism, a nuclear Iran will be in a position to arm terrorist groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and others with devastating weapons of destruction.
Such a deal will also embolden and empower Iran to fulfill its desire and its mission to wipe Israel and the Jewish people off the map. Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, clearly articulated Iran’s deadly stance towards Israel. He stated that the “cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region” and that the “foundation of the Islamic regime is opposition to Israel and the perpetual subject of Iran is the elimination of Israel from the region.”
This message continues to be expressed in varying forms, at different times, from various Iranian leaders. For example, in November 2011, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi went on record saying, “How many missiles [has the Zionist regime] prepared themselves for? 10,000? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000? 150,000 or more?” In 2013, Ayatollah Salehi, Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army, remarked, “The Army of Iran can by itself destroy Israel.” In November 2014, Iranian General Mohammad Ali Jafari confirmed that, “The range of our missiles covers all of Israel today. That means the fall of the Zionist regime, which will certainly come soon.” Of course, these are just a sampling of the numerous deadly threats being launched at Israel from Iran.
With Iran declaring that it is prepared for a war with Israel and taking active measures to achieve this goal and while much of the West is appeasing Iran, the possibility of an Israel-Iran war must be taken seriously. In his speech to Congress, Netanyahu made it clear that a nuclear-armed Iran and Israel cannot coexist. The question now is if this “bad deal” goes through and Israel’s very existence is threatened, will Israel attack Iran on its own? No one knows for sure, but Netanyahu indicated in his speech that Israel is keeping this option open as a real possibility .
Netanyahu boldly stated, “I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.” He added, “I can promise you one more thing: even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”
In a turbulent region where the status quo can change in a second, we have to wonder: what will be the next development in Israel Iran news?
Now, we will just have to wait and see.