Friday, October 18, 2019 -
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Lessons from Netanyahu’s speech

Not new, but newly clarified and crystallized, are these points about the Iran negotiations emerging from Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress March 3:

• Iran is a bad actor, with a decades-old history of terrorism against Americans, Israelis, Syrians, Jordanians, Lebanese, Yemenis, Kurds and others.

• Iran has not abided by UN resolutions or international agreements, such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it is a signator. Iran will not abide by any new agreement, whatever its provisions.

• One thing the agreement is likely to say is that Iran will be free to operate its nuclear facilities without any restrictions in 10 or more years. This will guarantee an Iran armed with nuclear weapons then, and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East now.

• The proposed agreement has no enforcement mechanism. If Iran does not abide by a new agreement, the US and the West have no plan to stop Iran from “breaking out” with a nuclear weapon. If the West now accepts Iran’s retention of a nuclear program and lacks the will to tighten sanctions against Iran until it cries “nuclear uncle,” and if the US and the West will not go to war against Iran now, they will not do either one in the future. Then, Iran’s economic links around the world will have been reinstated and reinforced, integrating it into the “community of nations,” removing its pariah status, deadening international willingness to take action against an Iranian nuclear “break out.” If the US and the West are weak on Iran now, they will only be weaker in the future.

• The US and the West are not even negotiating over Iran’s interncontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) development.

• Iran is playing the US and the West for suckers, achieving sanctions relief while delivering nothing but promises in return.

• Some of the skeptical Democrats in the Congressional audience were won over by Netanyahu.

• The damage done to Jewish relations with Congress’ Black Caucus seems to be temporary.

• An administration bent on demanding in the current negotiations an end to Iran’s nucler program would have precluded the entire Boehner-Netanyahu-Obama-brouhaha.

• An administration willing to call the agreement with Iran what it is — a treaty — would be duty bound to submit it to Congress, also precluding the current brouhaha over the ill advised Republican letter to Iran.

• It is unclear whether Netan-yahu’s eloquence and courage will help him in his current election campaign.

• The urgency of the stakes in the negotiations with Iran have been clarified and crystallized.

Copyright © 2015 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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