Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
No one is concerned and moving as intensively as Israel, in a desperate attempt to prevent the US and Iran from reaching a nuclear deal, even though it is far from being close to being achieved. Tel Aviv is seeking support in Washington and the capitals of the European continent in the hope of preventing a nuclear agreement, which nevertheless seems to have regained its speed in Vienna.
The first and most explicit signal came from Israel when Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett refused to meet with the US special envoy for the nuclear file, Robert Malley. Bennett does not believe that Malley is the main reason behind the US administration’s push for the deal with Iran. Instead, it considers that President Joe Biden is the one who appointed Malley to his position because he is the most qualified to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, as the US president believes.
Therefore, the Israeli prime minister’s discontent is directed at the US administration itself, pushing the negotiations in the direction that Israel fears: to strike a deal with Iran. Malley had visited Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to explain the US position on reviving the negotiations with Iran through indirect US-Iranian talks in Vienna to discuss the complex nuclear file.
In contrast, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited London and Paris to pull these countries towards the Israeli position. All he got was a supportive, empty English-style statement that Downing Street would “work day and night to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb”- which Iran does not want to build.
The world is persuaded that all the illegal sabotage operations at the Iranian nuclear reactor, the Israeli covert operations to disrupt the nuclear program, and the assassination of several Iranian scientists have not prevented Iran from reaching a very advanced nuclear level. On the contrary, and despite the operations, Iran reached a level never achieved before. Therefore, it did not offer to the world the tranquillity that the 2015 agreement assured, which was breached due to US’s and EU’s lack of compliance with the signed JCPOA.
Israel Major General Isaac ben Israel said that he actually “had a conversation with (PM Naftali) Bennet shortly after he came to office,” advising him- as he “advised his predecessor- to end Israel’s opposition to the American return to the JCPOA”.
“Netanyahu’s effort to persuade the Trump administration to quit the nuclear agreement has turned out to be the worst strategic mistake in Israel’s history”, believes the Major General. He has a long record in National Security as a former chief of Air Force Intelligence, Commander of Israel’s defence advanced research projects agency, and advisor to Netanyahu.
From its side, Tehran mocked the Israeli attacks and the US maximum sanctions and made President Donald Trump wait for months by his phone for Iran to call him and watch him leave the White House without speaking to him.
When Biden took office, he believed that he had enough time to return to the nuclear negotiations and delayed mentioning the nuclear talks for a few months. Iran forced him to rush to the meeting with the arrival of President Ibrahim Raisi by increasing its uranium enrichment. Afterwards, Iran decided to delay the negotiation date for five months before agreeing to be at the Vienna meetings, imposing the date of the first meeting and the absence of the US flag in the negotiating hall.
Iranian behaviour is most likely a hit against Israel, which wanted to push Washington into a military confrontation with Iran because Tel Aviv cannot be left alone to destroy all Iranian nuclear facilities. If Israel attacks Iran, it will undoubtedly achieve some casualties and damage to a few sites. However, it will be very far from destroying the entire nuclear program. Tel Aviv knows very well that Iran’s missile capabilities – not to mention the capabilities of its allies –offer an outstanding possibility of inflicting massive damage on the Israeli infrastructure. Therefore, Israel is trying to drag many countries with no appetite for war into a reluctant alliance. They have no desire to go to battle with Iran without a cover from the United Nations- especially with no guarantee of the outcome.
The US understands through its response capacity that Iran is not weak. All cyber strikes and assassinations against Iranian scientists and attacks against Iranian ships have pushed Iran closer than ever to reaching 90% of enriched uranium.
In addition, Iran is at “zero distance” from Israel through Iran’s vital ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah. Therefore, any war with Iran and its partners will give painful blows to Israel and the other US and Middle Eastern countries that host US military bases and are within range of Iranian precision missiles and suicide drones.
Israel has tried everything in its power to prevent a nuclear agreement, which is still far from the finishing line. However, all its attempts failed and even pushed the world to witness Iran getting very close to possessing real military nuclear power. Israel has no option but to go into its corner and lick its wounds. Israel must now accept that it cannot change the facts. Indeed, Iran already won an essential round to its favour by being itself the initiator of the Vienna negotiation and imposing its own rhythm and conditions.
Proofread by: Maurice Brasher