Reaching a deal with Iran?

The negotiation between the international community (the P5+1) and Iran, is for the latter a way to delay military action by Israel or the United States against her, while continuing to seek the bomb. The United States wishes to postpone any Israeli attack, and not launch an American one as well, at least until the presidential elections in November are over, because of the possible ramifications of a confrontation with Iran. So allegedly Iran and the United States have the same interest: to buy time.
Yet the United States is aware that if the talks drag on without reaching an agreement Israel might attack the Iranian nuclear infrastructure. Iran also does not wish the talks to last too long without some kind of an arrangement that might assist her to get rid of at least part of the sanctions.
The economic constraints play a major role for both the United States and Iran. The United States wants to avoid a war that would shake the oil market. Such an event threatening to jeopardize the U.S.’ slow recovery from its recession. Iran is aiming at reducing the sanctions against her before her economy suffers too much. Both sides fear the political fallout of a severe economic crisis in their country.
Iran strongly supports the Assad regime in his brutal fight against the rebels in Syria. The two states have been close allies for a few decades now. However, Iran – if only unofficially – may agree during the current negotiations with the P5+ 1 to give up Syria. As much as Syria is important to Iran, the latter understands that Assad’s days might be numbered and his regime could be sacrificed for the sake of top Iranian interests: the economy and the nuclear program.
Israel has not been participating in the talks with Iran but in a way Israel is present there. The United States could try making a deal with Iran without selling out Israel’s vital interests. The United States and Israel have their common goal: preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. For Israel this option represents a clear and present danger since it is a declared Iranian target and is geographically much closer to Iran, which would expose her to an Iranian nuclear strike in the future.
Right now is seems that there are low chances for any deal with Iran yet it might be reached after all. Israel cannot expect all her demands be satisfied. Israel may have to live with an Iran that has some kind of nuclear capability, enabling it to produce the bomb without actually doing so. Israel could tolerate such an outcome if there are reliable measures to make sure that Iran is not actually building a nuclear weapon.
A delay in the Iranian race toward a bomb would allow Israel more time to get ready for an Iran with a nuclear arsenal. This means improving Israel’s ability to intercept missiles which might carry nuclear warhead by assimilating the latest anti missile system, the “Arrow 3”. There is also a necessity to build nuclear shelters, to improve the skills of the troops of the home front command etc. In addition, time would help Israel to be better prepared to bomb the Iranian nuclear infrastructure if and when Iran returns to produce nuclear weapons. Israel could receive from the United States tankers and high quality bunker buster bombs that would increase the probability of a successful mission.

In spite of that because of the risks of a deal with Iran, Israel might hope for the talks to completely fail. This would grant more legitimacy at least within the United States and Israel to conduct military operations against Iran.

All in all a deal with Iran would be a compromise for the United States, but mostly for Israel. It would postpone but might not prevent a confrontation with Iran. This is not much but it might be better than the alternative, a war with Iran in the upcoming months.

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About the Author
Dr. Ehud Eilam has been dealing and studying Israel’s national security for more than 25 years. He served in the Israeli military and later on he worked for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. He is now a writer and an independent researcher. He has a Ph.D and he had published five books He lives now near Boston, MA. His email: