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November 28, 2013 10:37 am

Amidror: Iran Deal a ‘Failure, Not a Triumph, of Diplomacy’

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Photo: U.S. Department of State.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Yaakov Amidror, the former head of the Israeli National Security Council, slammed the outcome of the Geneva deal with Iran, as “a failure, not a triumph, of diplomacy.”

Entitled, “A Most Dangerous Deal: The Iran Agreement Does Not Address the Nuclear Threat,” Amidror wrote, “The agreement represents a failure, not a triumph, of diplomacy. With North Korea, too, there were talks and ceremonies and agreements — but then there was the bomb. This is not an outcome Israel could accept with Iran.”

While the U.S. has framed the deal as a six-month carrot, replete with some $7 billion of cash, freedom for its oil industry and other sectors shut out from the global economy, to induce Iran to stay inside the international community, Amidror wrote that the deal somehow missed out on its entire purpose: to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“Iran will not only get to keep its existing 18,000 centrifuges; it will also be allowed to continue developing the next generation of centrifuges, provided it does not install them in uranium-enrichment facilities. Which is to say: Its uranium-enrichment capability is no weaker… The Geneva deal, in short, did not address the nuclear threat at all. This was Iran’s great accomplishment.”

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Taking a closer look at what the restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment actually mean, Amidror described the net effect as being “almost completely meaningless.”

“Under the deal Iran is supposed to convert its nearly 200 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity — a short step away from bomb-grade material — into material that cannot be used for a weapon. In practice, this concession is almost completely meaningless.”

“The agreement does not require Iran to reduce its stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.5 percent, not even by one gram. Transforming unprocessed uranium into 3.5 percent-enriched uranium accounts for more than two-thirds of the time needed to transform unprocessed uranium into weapons-grade material. And given the thousands of centrifuges Iran has, the regime can enrich its stock of low-level uranium to weapons-grade quality in a matter of months. Iran already has enough of this material to make four bombs.”

He also pointed to the strategy lauded at the start of the sanctions; to destroy Iran’s economic strength, to bring the Islamic Republic to the table and force it to relinquish its desire for nuclear weapons, an outcome that never happened. In short, Amidror said the world wanted a deal more than the Iranians did; somehow it all backfired.

“The six powers — the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — have shown that they wanted an agreement more than Iran did. The party that was targeted by the sanctions has achieved more than the parties that imposed them.”

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