Israel the Obstacle to Nuke Deal Between Iran, West
• Deal could open up U.S-Iranian cooperation on ISIS.
By Richard Walker —
The main obstacle to the international community reaching a deal with Iran on its nuclear program on November 24 is Israel, a country that sits atop a very large stockpile of nuclear weapons, which it denies exists.
The hawks in Israel and the Zionist lobby on Capitol Hill are gearing up to stop any deal that would allow Russia to take charge of Iran’s supplies of low-enriched uranium (LEU) and newly enriched uranium, and transform it into fuel rods for Iran’s nuclear reactors. That arrangement could be put in place for a number of years, thereby eliminating the argument that permitting Iran to continue to enrich uranium while controlling its own supplies of it would enable it to reduce the time it would take to convert its uranium into bomb-grade material.
The Jewish Chronicle, a London-based Jewish weekly newspaper founded in 1841, and the oldest continuously-published Jewish newspaper in the world, had a headline on October 7 that echoed the mindset of the Israeli government and its messianic leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, to any potential deal. It read: “Soon, only obstacle to an Iranian bomb will be the Israeli air force.”
Ex-Central Intelligence Agency analyst Ray McGovern, speaking in Berlin in September, branded Israel the “major obstacle” to a nuclear deal between Iran and the five members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, known as the P5+1. McGovern noted, however, Israel’s “brutal and inhuman attacks” on Gaza and the West Bank had weakened its international standing on the issue.
Interestingly, McGovern saw a nuclear deal opening up a real possibility the United States and Iran could cooperate on confronting Islamic extremism. In his view, it was time for the U.S. to “bury the hatchet” with Iran, though he saw Israel opposing any normalizing of U.S.-Iran relations.
Nevertheless, he had advice about Israeli meddling: “Since when does the U.S. have to be concerned by what Israelis think or how they might criticize us or give less money to our politicians?”
The fact is the Zionist lobby in the U.S. has the power, through rich donors, a pro-Israel mainstream media and a Congress fixated on giving Netanyahu what he wants, to stand in the path of any deal with Iran, especially the one now involving Russia.
Former social worker turned diplomat Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy R. Sherman, who has just assume all authorities and responsibilities of the Deputy Secretary effective November 3, and who has been involved in negotiating with Iran, is already on record warning that some of Washington’s “allies”—presumably Israel and the Saudis—as well as members of Congress want negotiations to fail.
“A long-time Washington insider, lobbyist, Congressional staffer, and consultant,” says a November 26, 2013 article in Foreign Policy In Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an influential Washington, D.C. think-tank, “Sherman comes from a prominent Jewish family in upstate New York and is widely considered one of Israel’s most supportive high-level friends.”
The New York Times lied in its reporting about the terms of the recent, positive breakthrough involving Russia, saying Iran was ready to relinquish its ability to enrich uranium once it handed over all its low-grade uranium to Russia. That was just the kind of report that had the potential to damage negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 by encouraging hardliners in Iran to believe the country had bowed to Israel and had given up forever any possibility of enriching uranium to make fuel rods for its reactors.
On the contrary, the deal allows Iran to enrich uranium to a certain level before passing it to Russia to be converted into fuel rods for its reactors and other reactors it intends to build with Russian know-how. Iran’s right to enrich uranium is guaranteed under international terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which Iran is a member but Israel is not.
There is no doubt a deal with Iran would free up the U.S. to engage with Iran on the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Iran, unlike Iraq, has a military capable of crushing ISIS. But Israel’s Middle East policy is geared toward isolating Iran at all costs and building alliances with its enemies like Saudi Arabia that helped create and arm ISIS and other terrorist groups.
In an interview with RT, Linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky echoed the views of McGovern when speaking recently about the importance of closer relations between Tehran and Washington on the ISIS problem. He predicted Iran would “wipe out ISIS in no time if it was allowed to join the fight on the ground.”
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.