By Manish Rai
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately after the signing of Iran and P5+1 nuclear agreement declared it as “stunning historical mistake”. Even Israelis has gone one step forward and they are pressing US lawmakers in congress to block the deal, with Israeli Ambassador to US Ron Dermer meeting privately with a group of about 40 House conservatives. The most influential pro-Israel group in United States the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is also putting all its weight to stop this deal and it will be deploying about 300 lobbyists on Capitol Hill to try to convince lawmakers, especially undecided Democrats, to vote against the deal, according to officials in the pro-Israel camp.
The current Israeli anxiety over the recent Iran nuclear deal is a reminder that the Israel leadership may be in a paradoxical situation and is overreacting. But we have to remember that agreement over Iran’s nuclear program marks the end of an era. The 20 years long effort to strip Iran of any ability to dabble in nuclear science or weapons has officially failed. So only other option left is to engage them in talks and negotiate about their nuclear weapons ambitions. Just imagine what would happen if Congress overrides Obama’s veto and kills the deal. No one seriously disputes that the sanctions regime would quickly collapse. Russia is already planning its new business deals with Iran and the Europeans aren’t far behind. The idea that a tougher United States could by itself force better terms is a dangerous fantasy. With rejection, we would get the worst of both worlds. But with the deal Iran would off course will get much of its oil money back, but with the most intrusive inspections in history (24/7 monitoring of its nuclear facilities), 98 percent reductions in uranium stockpiles, and the many other provisions that sharply reduce its existential threat to Israel.
Israelis should do their introspection first before feeling threatened by anyone in the region. Israel enemies have learned that Israel is strong at conventional warfare. After many embarrassing defeats at the hands of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), they have realized that fighting a frontal, tank-to-tank, battalion-to-battalion war is no longer their best option Israel’s military might is simply superior. Full-blown Israeli commitment is tantamount the destruction of enemy armies and that is why they will probably not initiate such action. Any state actors which have the capacity to arm, train and deploy large conventional armies against state of Israel are tied up right now. Israel can live with whatever happens there.
Israel is the strongest state in the Middle East in every aspects like- militarily, strategically, economically and diplomatically. Even if Iran tested a nuclear weapon tomorrow, it would take years to refine it into a warhead for a missile. Then it would encounter the Arrow, a joint U.S.-Israeli anti-missile system. And then Iran would suffer Israel’s doomsday second-strike capability. So even if everything goes south, even if the critics of this deal are right, Israel can deal with it. Iran’s leadership is rational they know that Israel has unlimited reprisal capability this is an Israeli euphemism for the country’s second-strike nuclear arsenal and they also realize that nuclear confrontation with Israel can put whole Persian civilization at risk.
Iranian domestic political equations also have to be taken into account before reaching any conclusion about Iranian threat. In Iran there is a regime and there is a government, and we have to make a distinction between them. President Hassan Rouhani does not make any decisions without the instructions or approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei is now distancing himself from Rouhani and letting him take the blame for anything that looks like compromise on Iran’s part in the agreement. If we want a moderate and responsible Iran, we have to worry about moderate President Rouhani and its government. As any isolation and sanctions on Iran will only strengthen the hardliner regime.
With the integration of Iran into global market after easing out of sanctions will make Iran an open economy. Where it trade its oil and benefit its citizens through relations with the West, with the full realization, as stated in the agreement, that violations could set it right back to where it is now with its economy in ruins because of sanctions.
It’s a hard reality that Iran–freed of an international coalition arrayed against it, and led by Tehran hard-liners empowered by the American sanctions would have no reason not to race to a nuclear bomb and subsequently become a rogue country like- North Korea and then it will very hard for international community and Israel to deal with them. Only way to make Iran a responsible state actor is by getting it integrated into world order and its economy open up for everyone so that Iranian always know the cost of their misadventures.