Top Israeli Diplomat: Nuclear Deal ‘Invitation for Iranian Cover-Up’
The recent nuclear deal with Iran is an “invitation to an Iranian cover-up in the future,” a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official said on Wednesday in a conference call with Jewish leaders.
Stressing that many of Iran’s declared nuclear sites were discovered through Western intelligence or opposition tip-offs, Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold said the deal was “inadequate” in addressing the secret nature of the country’s nuclear program so far.
He recalled an incident where the Iranians placed asphalt over a large portion of the ground at the Parchin nuclear facility to prevent inspectors from taking soil samples.
“The mechanisms for undeclared sites in the agreement” are the most important concern for opponents of the current deal, he said.
Gold said a better deal would address each of international inspectors’ previous concerns about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, such as the reconstruction of the Shahab 3 medium-range ballistic missile to deliver a spherical nuclear payload as far as Tel Aviv.
He slammed Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for “taking pleasure” in reminding the Iranian parliament after the U.N. voted to approve the deal that limits on its missile program are non-binding.
Israel expects a major escalation of insurgent and terror threats against the country, which Gold said will be a direct result of the windfall cash Iran will receive from the lifting of international sanctions.
Israeli intelligence has detected an expansion in Iranian deployments around Israel’s borders, he said.
“We saw evidence of Iran trying to build a new Iranian front on the Golan Heights,” he said, adding that the flow of weapons to Iranian proxies near Israel had continued unabated under sanctions.
Of most concern were special kits outfitting the thousands of missiles Iranians have delivered to Lebanon, with precision guidance to hit targets deep in Israel.
Lebanese Hezbollah — currently directing most of its efforts toward protecting the Iranian backed regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — is trying to get its hands on Russian weapons stored in beleaguered Syria, with Iran’s help, he said.
Israel is also particularly concerned with Hezbollah getting a hold of advanced anti-aircraft weaponry and Russian surface-to-air weapons.
Gold was optimistic a better deal was still possible with the Iranians, because Tehran is “desperate” for international sanctions to be lifted, as it ensures the legitimacy of the regime to its people.
He was confident tighter sanctions would force Iran back to the negotiating table willing to make further concessions.
The debate in Israel, meanwhile, remains when Iran will cheat the international community: within the 10-year time frame of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or after its clauses sunset and its regulations expire.