Israel’s Role in the Struggle over the Iranian Nuclear Project
Mideast Security and Policy Studies No. 114
In this comprehensive review from someone who has been intimately involved in global diplomacy regarding the Iranian nuclear program, Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser details Israel’s role in the struggle over the Iranian nuclear project. This is a unique account from someone who has been intimately involved in tracking the Iranian nuclear program since its inception 27 years ago.
General Kuperwasser was chief of the research division in IDF Military Intelligence, and until recently, director general of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs – where he played a key role in global diplomacy regarding Iran. His paper is the most detailed, even revelatory, account yet published of how it has come to pass that the U.S. and Israel have taken different paths with regard to the campaign to block Iran’s nuclear advance.
Put succinctly, Washington now seeks to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while Jerusalem seeks to prevent it from having the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
Kuperwasser angrily rejects claims made that Iran’s success in proceeding towards the attainment of nuclear weapons represents an Israeli failure. “This is worthy of ridicule. Without Israel’s actions, Iran would have obtained nuclear weapons several years ago.”
What to do now? Kuperwasser is of the opinion that Israel should keep doing everything it can to prevent a bad deal with Iran, up to the very last second. But if in spite of Israel’s efforts a bad deal is signed, then Israel should multiply its intelligence attempts to know what is happening in Iran, so that it may sound the alarm; it should accelerate its efforts to develop the military capability to defend itself if necessary; and it should find ways to form a regional alliance to block Iranian attempts to translate its achievements in the nuclear realm into greater regional influence.
If a deal is not reached, Kuperwasser says that Israel should intensify its consultations with the P5+1 to accelerate the pressures on Iran. Kuperwasser emphasizes that under no circumstances should Israel accept understandings with the US which limit Israel’s ability to decide by itself what kind of actions it may take to protect itself against the nuclear threats that follow a deal.
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