Iran and the Bomb 2
A New Hope
Who Is Ali Khamenei?
The Worldview of Iran’s Supreme Leader
Why Rouhani Won -- And Why Khamenei Let Him
The Ahmadinejad Era Comes to an Auspicious End
Rouhani's Gorbachev Moment
What Makes a Genuine Reformer?
Getting to Yes With Iran
The Challenges of Coercive Diplomacy
On the Road to Yes With Iran
How to Read the Nuclear Deal
Talk Is Cheap
Sanctions Might Have Brought Rouhani to The Table, But They Won't Keep Him There
Saved by the Deal
How Rouhani Won the Negotiations and Rescued His Regime
Don’t Get Suckered by Iran
Fix the Problems With the Interim Accord
The Nuclear Deal With Iran Was About Trust, Not Verification
Still Time to Attack Iran
The Illusion of a Comprehensive Nuclear Deal
Still Not Time to Attack Iran
Why the U.S. Shouldn't Play Chicken with Tehran
Befriend the Scientists
How to Bring Iran's Nuclear Program Into the Fold
How Israel Can Help the United States Strike a Deal With Iran -- And Why It Should
Bibi the Bad Cop
Can Israel Prevent a Deal With Iran?
Why Israel Is So Afraid
Iran, the United States, and the Bomb
The moment that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped he could avoid is fast approaching: high-level negotiations between the United States and Iran that could lead to a deal that ends the decade-long standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program. As Obama has welcomed the new approach of Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, and taken concrete steps to test Tehran’s sincerity, Netanyahu has been quick to dismiss Rouhani and call for more sanctions. It is increasingly clear that Netanyahu ultimately fears the success of diplomacy, not its failure. But Israel, and its national security establishment, should not see a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear standoff as a threat.
Contrary to Israel’s public line, Netanyahu’s worry is not that the Iranians would cheat on any agreement, or that Rouhani would prove to be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Rather, Netanyahu and much of Israel’s security establishment view the status quo -- ever-increasing sanctions that cripple Iran’s economy, combined with the ever-present threat of war -- as preferable to any realistic diplomatic deal.
As Israelis well know, a compromise would probably allow for limited enrichment on Iranian soil under strict verification, and the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions. Although Iran would technically remain a non–nuclear weapons state, it would be considered a virtual nuclear power. And that, Netanyahu calculates, is sufficient to shift the balance of power in the region to Israel’s detriment, reducing the Jewish state’s maneuverability and the usefulness of its own deterrent. There is reason to believe, then, that Israel’s insistence on zero enrichment is aimed to ensure that no deal is struck at all.
Israel also understands that a resolution to the nuclear standoff would significantly reduce U.S.-Iranian tensions and open up opportunities for collaboration between the two former allies. Since U.S.-Iranian fellow feeling will not be accompanied by a proportionate reduction in Iranian-Israeli hostilities, Israel will be left in a relatively worse position. This
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