Israel, Iran and the nuclear agreement

GPO photo

 

By

Tom Arms

 

 

You lied, Israel undiplomatically shouted at Iran. No, you are the liars, Iran shouted back, and added: “You are an infamous liar.”

 

No, says the Trump Administration, the Iranians are the liars. Wrong, say Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. Israel is telling porkies, or, at the very least, is peddling “alternative facts” or being “economic with the truth“ in a post-truth world.

 

It is not surprising that Donald Trump prefers to accept the Israeli story. It fits in with his rhetoric before, during and after the election. “A bad deal,” he has repeatedly stated. In fact, his heartfelt desire to scrap the Iran-nuclear Accord was one of the reasons behind his decision to sack pro-accord Tillerson and replace him with anti-accord Mike Pompeo.

 

So the Israeli claims fit in nicely with President Trump’s pre-determined position.

 

But the other signatories also have their reasons for rejecting the Israeli intelligence and backing the Iranian position. They have been equally adamant that the Iran-nuclear Accord is the best deal possible and that without it the rest of the world is facing the prospect of Iran developing a nuclear arsenal much, much faster.

 

So who is telling the truth and where do we go to find it? The most likely truth source is the only international independent body charged with monitoring nuclear proliferation—the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

 

The IAEA is the direct result of President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1953 “Atoms for Peace” programme which was designed to encourage the spread of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes while keeping the lid on nuclear weapons technology. That is basically the remit of the IAEA and it has been active in both Iraq and Iran. It was also keeping regular tabs on North Korea until Pyongyang booted out the IAEA inspectors.

 

The Director-General of the IAEA is Yukiya Amano who in 2009 blew the whistle on Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, code named the Amad Project. This led to economic sanctions and the 2015 Iran Nuclear Accord between Iran on one side and the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China on the other. Under the Agreement Iran pledged not to develop any nuclear warheads for a period of ten years in return for the lifting of sanctions.

 

So, what does the IAEA think of the current state of Iran’s nuclear programme. “There are,” it said, “no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”

 

The documents that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu unveiled at his “Iran Lied” press conference date back to 2003 when the Amad Project was started. They are 15 years out of date and the press conference and its timing had one purpose—to push the American public solidly behind a dumping of the Iran-nuclear Accord.

 

The Israelis argue that the dates on the top secret files they unveiled are irrelevant. The point is that they made giant strides towards developing a nuclear weapon between 2003 and 2009. The knowledge they acquired is still there and can be quickly implemented when the current agreement ends in 2025.

 

All that is true, and the Europeans, Russians and Chinese are in agreement with both Israel and the Trump Administration of the need to restrict research after 2025. Where they differ is on tactics to achieve the desired result. The US and Israel say end the deal now and re-impose sanctions. The others say build on the current accord to create a climate in which the agreement can be extended indefinitely.

 

 

 

 

Tom Arms

I am a journalist, entrepreneur and historian with extensive experience in print, web and broadcast journalism. I started as a diplomatic correspondent, wrote several books (The Falklands Crisis, World Elections On File and the Encyclopedia of the Cold War), and then in 1987 started my own business (Future Events News Service, www.fensinformation.com) which over 25 years established itself as the world and UK media’s diary. Our strapline was: “We set the world’s news agenda.” I sold FENS in December 2012 but retained the exclusive broadcast rights to all of FENS data. To exploit these rights I set up LookAhead TV which produces unique programmes which “Broadcasts Tomorrow Today” so that viewers can “Plan to Participate.” LookAhead has appeared regularly on Vox Africa, Radio Tatras International, The Conversation and Voice of Africa Radio.

In addition to being a syndicated broadcaster and columnist on global affairs, Tom is also available for speaking engagements and can be contacted on TwitterLinkedin and emailtom.arms@lookaheadnews.com.

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