Steve Kramer

Sweet-talk, not a framework

After more than a decade of deliberations with Iran over its nuclear aspirations, the West is trumpeting its stupendous achievement: a framework for an agreement to be finalized by the end of June. Of course, everyone knows this deadline is totally fluid, based on the endless number of postponements granted to the Iranians during more than a decade of negotiations.

The Iranians, inheritors of the ancient Persian culture and far more adept at negotiating than their Western adversaries (partners is more like it), used these years of “negotiating” to ratchet up their nuclear capabilities and infrastructure, while defeating numerous adversaries and taking over four Arab capitals: Lebanon, Damascus, Baghdad, and lately, Sanaa. This quest to influence Islam goes back to the very beginnings of Islam. (Iran in History – TAU) Iran’s current leaders plan to establish a Sunni Muslim caliphate over all lands once ruled by Muslims (Iberian Peninsula, Balkans, Palestine, etc.) before taking on Western countries such as France, Belgium, and eventually the United States.

President Obama took the lead of the Western powers’ push to make Iran their partner in the region when he agreed to direct negotiations with the Iranian theocracy and their representatives a few years ago. Prime Minister Netanyahu made himself the leader, by default, of those who warn against Iran’s goal of politico–military dominance (hegemony).

Just now, the P5+1 has trumpeted its “historic” pact (actually a temporary framework) with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Its main tenets: a cap of 6,104 centrifuges, but R&D is allowed on more advanced models for 10-15 years; uranium enrichment capped for 15 years; “breakout” time to a nuclear weapon of at least one year required for the next 10 years; and the underground, formerly covert Fordow nuclear facility, built inside a mountain, to be only a “research center” for 15 years.

In addition, there will be international access for inspection over mines and mills via “continuous surveillance” for 25 years, with monitoring by the IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency. Unfortunately, the IAEA states that Iran denies its inspectors access to some sites and complains of still-unresolved concerns about alleged nuclear weapons activity. (Political Insider)
Yet, President Obama said last week, “If Iran cheats, the world will know it.”

For this, Iran will win economic sanctions relief, depending on its ability to follow through with the commitments agreed upon in a final deal. (Washington Post)

The Jerusalem Post reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu has taken exception to the optimism over this deal. The Prime Minister’s Office posted the following message on Twitter: “Any deal must significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear capabilities and stop its terrorism and aggression.” Accompanying the tweet was a map with arrows leading from Tehran to Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq under the headline, “Iran’s aggression during the nuclear negotiations.” The Israeli government has vowed to continue fighting against the deal, emphasizing Iran’s aggressive behavior throughout the Middle East, at a time when it doesn’t yet possess nuclear capabilities.

Quoted in the same article is Maj.-Gen. Nimrod Sheffer, who heads the IDF Planning Directorate: “If ultimately an agreement is in fact signed, we will have to ask ourselves, ‘Okay, what are we going to do with this? If someone builds a bomb and at the same time declares that Israel has no right to exist, we have to think about how to respond. …Since it [successful Israeli attacks on two nuclear facilities] happened in the past, I have no reason to believe it won’t happen again.”

Let’s try to put this “deal” into perspective. The question has been asked numerous times, Is it 1932 (Nazis take power in Germany) or even 1938 (Britain’s Prime Minister Chamberlain proclaims “Peace in our time” in Munich)? Obviously, President Obama thinks neither. According to him, Iran, which has a history of breaking agreements and not adhering to UN Security Council resolutions, has turned over a new leaf. It can be trusted to be the West’s partner in the unruly Middle East. And if not, the IAEA will catch Iran at it and the sanctions will be “snapped back.” Good luck with that…

Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t believe Iran can be monitored 100% and neither do most Israelis. Iran’s mortal threats against both Israel and America and its barbaric human rights record shouldn’t be separated from this proposition. Despite all of the above, Iran’s nuclear aspirations are being given Western legitimacy as it becomes a nuclear threshold state.

I realize that it’s easier to take the president at his word if one resides in America, or even in Europe. But here in Israel, with Iranian forces in the Golan Heights, Iranian proxies Hizbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and Gaza respectively, and Iranian funding for terror throughout the world, things look different.

We see the Iran’s power growing rapidly, even without the benefit of nuclear weapons. As the prime minister says, Iran is the rising power in the Middle East without nuclear weapons; imagine what it will accomplish with such weapons. The West must discount Iranian sweet-talk and wake up to reality.

Baseball legend Yogi Berra famously said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Israel’s government is trying to prevent terrible things from happening, before the pact with Iran is “over.”

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.