Former Israeli and American intelligence chiefs this week said the deal US President Barack Obama and other Western leaders struck with Iran last week in Geneva had essentially allowed the Islamic Republic to become a “nuclear threshold state.”
More accurately, former Israeli military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said that the West had failed for decades to adequately confront the Iranian nuclear threat, and so had finally given up and signed a bad deal.
“The fact that Iran is a nuclear threshold state does not derive from this agreement, but because the Iranians have developed capabilities for years, and no one can stop them,” Yadlin said at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “Iran is on the verge of producing a bomb. It’s sad, but it’s a fact.”
Attending the same conference, Israeli lawmaker MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) lamented the nuclear deal: “If this is not moral defeat, what is moral defeat? If this is not surrender, what is surrender?”
The Israelis were not alone in viewing the nuclear deal as what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week said was a “historic mistake.”
Former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden told Fox News that Obama had clearly “accepted Iranian uranium enrichment. There’s no question about that. That’s a different red line than we used to have.”
Hayden noted that the deal agreed to in Geneva speaks of a mutual understanding regarding Iranian uranium enrichment, whereas previous UN resolutions insisted the Islamic Republic had no right to enrich at all.
“At the end of the day, Iran’s going to be a nuclear threshold state,” he continued. “What we have to do is push that threshold back as far as possible. …Right now, the Iranians are far too close to a nuclear weapon.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told his country’s state-run news agency IRNA that the time had come to build even more nuclear plants.
Salehi spoke of the plants for use in producing electricity, but Israel and other critics have argued that as a major oil producer, Iran has no real need for civilian nuclear power.