THE US AND ZIONISTS NUCLEAR WEAPONS THREAT versus THE IRANIAN THREAT TO THE WORLD SECURITY
by Syarif Hidayat
Wake Up Americans and the world! Please don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the Zionists agenda! Facts speak for themselves correctly and objectively that the Zionists are also experts at propaganda, disinformation, denying facts and outright lying. The Zionists and the Imperialists (the US-led western powers) have been demonizing Iran as a threat to Arab world and the world security!
– Since the Iranian revolution, no country has been invaded by Iran and not a single person has been killed by Iran in a foreign country, not a single Israeli or American or British nuclear scientist killed and not a single Iranian spy drone is detected over Israeli, the UK or US Air Space!
– Since 1979, the US has invaded Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and has been bombing Pakistan, Somalia, Sudah and Yemen using drones bombers and killing almost two millions (and continue counting) of innocent people including old men, women, children and babies. The US has also killed Third World leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.
– Since Iranian revolution, Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians and some Iranian nuclear scientists.
– Since Iranian revolution, not a single Israeli or US scientist killed by Iranians.
– Since Iranian revolution, some US and Israeli spy drones reportedly shot down or forced down in Iran.
The US-Israeli collusion
The actual Nuclear World War could be easily triggered by the illicit agreement between the crazy American President and the deranged and adventurous Israeli Prime Minister.
Please take a close look at the example of the actual Israeli nuclear threats to the world security: In 2002, while the United States was building for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon threatened that if Israel was attacked “Israel will react. Is it clear?”
Israeli defense analyst Zeev Schiff explained: “Israel could respond with a nuclear retaliation that would eradicate Iraq as a country.”
It is believed the then US President, George W. Bush gave Sharon the “Green-Light” to attack Baghdad in retaliation, including with Nuclear Weapons, but only if attacks came before the American military invasion.
The Actual threat to the world security comes from Israel
Iran is developing nuclear energy program must not alarm the Arab world and the world as a whole. Israel has more than enough nuclear weapons (nuclear warheads and bombs) to destroy the whole Middle East at any moment! So what?
The Israeli weapons of mass destruction (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Bombs) and weapons of ethnic cleansing (Ethnic Bomb) are the real threat to the world security!
However, just as threatening to Arabs, and the world, is Israel’s aggressive stance towards using its own 200 to 500 nuclear weapons — ones which it has never formally admitted exist. These weapons can be deployed by air, missile or submarine to almost any place on earth.
Although dwarfed by the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia, each possessing over 10,000 nuclear weapons, Israel nonetheless is a major nuclear power, and should be publicly recognized as such.
Possessing chemical and biological weapons, an extremely sophisticated nuclear arsenal, and an aggressive strategy for their actual use, Israel provides the major regional impetus for the development of weapons of mass destruction and represents an acute threat to peace and stability in the Middle East and the world as a whole.
The Israeli nuclear program represents a serious impediment to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation and, with India and Pakistan, is a potential nuclear flashpoint.(prospects of meaningful non-proliferation are a delusion so long as the nuclear weapons states insist on maintaining their arsenals).
The Israeli bombs themselves range in size from “city busters” larger than the Hiroshima Bomb to tactical mini nukes. The Israeli arsenal of weapons of mass destruction clearly dwarfs the actual or potential arsenals of all other Middle Eastern states combined, and is vastly greater than any conceivable need for “deterrence.”
A staple of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are “neutron bombs,” miniaturized thermonuclear bombs designed to maximize deadly gamma radiation while minimizing blast effects and long term radiation- in essence designed to kill people while leaving property intact.
The Israeli nuclear arsenal is backed-up by the delivery mechanisms that include the long-range all-weather attack fighter bombers: F-4E-2000 Phantoms, F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-35 Radar Evading Stealth Bombers as well as Jericho intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range of 11,500 km, bringing all countries in the Middle East and Gulf regions including Iran and Europe as far as UK into its range.
Nuclear weapons prohibited in Islam
Kaveh L Afrasiabi, a political scientist and author of Iranian origin who has lived for many years in the United States, in his article titled “Nuclear weapons prohibited in Islam: Iran” published in www.muslimevillage.com, June 17 2011, wrote The second international conference on nuclear disarmament hosted by Tehran gets barely a mention in the Western media, despite featuring delegates from 40 nations as well as representatives from both the United Nations and its nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“What we want to convey is a message to the entire world that Iran is trying its best for this argument for non-proliferation,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the audience in an opening address on Sunday.
Forty years of non-proliferation conventions had produced no significant breakthrough in nuclear disarmament and the nuclear powers have not implemented their obligation under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), he said, adding that Iran believed that the use of atomic weapons should be legally banned, as chemical and biological weapons were through mandatory conventions, he said.
As Iran gears up to assume leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) next year, such an initiative represents a step in the right direction, in light of the NAM countries’ strong misgivings about nuclear double standards on the part of Western countries and the growing restrictions on the transfer of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, pursuant to articles of the NPT.
As expected, some Western pundits, such as David Frum, the man behind George W Bush’s notorious “axis of evil” speech, cast a cynical gaze at the Tehran disarmament conference, describing it as a “theater of the absurd”.
What seems more absurd to many is the simple fact that with the tens of thousands of nuclear warheads still in existence presenting a calamitous potential for human existence and planetary survival, so little attention has been placed in the West on practical mechanisms to achieve the lofty objective of a “world without nuclear weapons”.
Pre-conference talk for adopting a new convention on disarmament did not materialize. Still, the gathering helped serve a purpose in terms of what Salehi has described as cultivating a “popular disarmament culture”. That is a bigger step than ritual conferences on disarmament in the West, which have been empty talking shops; for example, on a fissile material cut-off treaty that is no closer to being adopted today than when it was put on the agenda more than two decades ago.
One major problem with moving toward disarmament, as articulated in the NPT review conference’s “13 practical steps”, is that such practical measures are nipped in the bud by the parallel arms control steps that are often misunderstood as incremental disarmament.
They are not, as reflected in the latest “new start” US-Russia agreement. While the agreement reduces the two countries’ active stockpile, at the same time it stabilizes the rough parity in terms of nuclear weapons capability and, what is more, leaves tactical nuclear weapons – hundreds of which are stationed on European soil – out of equation.
Nor does the agreement specifically call for the destruction of a single warhead. Instead, such arms control agreements have simply enlarged the “second tier” stockpile of decommissioned warheads that still pose a threat to humanity.
Focusing on the faulty nuclear doctrine of the US and other nuclear powers, such as France and the United Kingdom, that rely on nuclear arsenals to punch hard power relevant to their foreign policy objectives, the Tehran conference gave the Iranian hosts an opportunity to throw the limelight on Israel’s clandestine nuclear arsenal, its refusal to join the NPT and its lack of support for a Middle East nuclear weapons-free zone – an idea fully endorsed by Iran.
The use of nuclear weapons is “a big and unforgivable sin”
The international community should push Israel to join the NPT and accept IAEA inspections at its nuclear facilities, Salehi said. He also described the United States as the major violator of the NPT, saying its active role in spreading nuclear weapons was incongruous with its advocacy of non-proliferation.
These remarks were followed on Wednesday with the news that Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad had once again expressed readiness for talks over Tehran’s nuclear program.
”The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran has once again announced Iran’s readiness to [resolve] our country’s nuclear issue through negotiations with the P5+1 [the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany],” he told reporters in Tehran. He also reiterated, ”Iran has always had very good cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy] Agency” and this was proof of the ”peaceful” nature of its nuclear program.
Coinciding with fresh reports in the US regarding the absence of any evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons, the Tehran conference was important in further integrating Iran in the global disarmament movement, in tandem with the prescient insight of the late French philosopher Michel Foucault, who once described the Islamic revolution of 1979 as destined to “bear the weight of the entire world order.”
Foucault’s unique insight, yet to be fully understood by the majority of “Iran experts” in the West who typically pen about “Iran after possessing the bomb”, provides a good prism through which to analyze Iran’s self-imposed disarmament responsibility. The historic revolution has given the post-revolutionary state a transnational and “quasi-state” character that is thoroughly cosmopolitan along the lines of a (Edmund) Husserlian “world disclosing subjectivity”.
Following this line of thought, the outlines of Iran’s ”borderline” nuclear policy, which allows Tehran to insert itself in the global “nuclear game” and thus exert pressure on the nuclear haves to move toward disarmament and avoid proliferation activities, can be understood. In essence, this stems from a globalist view that combines strictly national security considerations within a larger net of regional and global security, that in turn mandates Iran to take a nuclear activist role.
Without the potential capability as a proto-nuclear power, Iran cannot possibly play this role on the global scene, otherwise it will be ignored as totally irrelevant. In other words, the protean value, for the sake of disarmament objectives, of Iran’s latent nuclear potential and/or threat has completely bypassed Western pundits who specialize on Iran and who often reduce Iran’s nuclear ambitions to a mere issue of national security. Their erroneous interpretations stem from a basic misunderstanding of the globalist motivations of Iran’s “quasi-state” that are not reducible to the narrow prism of national interests.
From the point of view of the NAM and its disarmament priority, Iran’s “borderline” approach makes perfect sense, given keen awareness of the complex threads connecting counter-proliferation to disarmament and the rather egregious failure of the NPT to achieve a significant breakthrough on disarmament, as stipulated in Article VI.
The Tehran disarmament conference reflects an apt move in ongoing Iranian nuclear chessmanship that is inherently tied to Iran’s globalized mission, to increasingly play a proactive role in the global disarmament movement irrespective of the external pressures confronting its nuclear program.
Over time, this is bound to present a genuine, albeit secondary, impediment to the proliferation activities of countries that possess nuclear weapons, reflecting a virtuous disposition as a cosmopolitan regional power that exceeds the limits that the major powers assign to it.
Those powers may have flung sanction nets at Iran over its nuclear program’s supposed sinister intentions, but the irony is that Iran is now able to play an increasingly vocal role in holding those powers back from the flight of responsibility vis-a-vis their NPT obligations to disarm.
Iran’s Supreme Leader says his country has never pursued nuclear weapons but it will not abandon its controversial nuclear program, The Associated Press reports.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke Aug 30, 2013 at a summit of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement. Iran says the gathering in Tehran shows that Western sanctions have not resulted in Iran’s diplomat isolation. The West suspects Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.
Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters in Iran, says the country considers the use of nuclear weapons to be “a big and unforgivable sin.”
Iran was never building nuclear weapons
Sherwood Ross, an award-winning reporter and editorial as well as book publicist, in his article titled “US spies declare: Iran was never building nuclear weapons” published in IPS, wrote The former Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) said in a new published report that he had not seen “a shred of evidence” that Iran was “building nuclear-weapons facilities and using enriched materials.”
Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient who spent 12 years at the IAEA, told investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, “I don’t believe Iran is a clear and present danger. All I see is the hype about the threat posed by Iran.” El Baradei, who is now a candidate for the presidency of Egypt, added, “The core issue is mutual lack of trust. I believe there will be no solution until the day that the United States and Iran sit down together to discuss the issues and put pressure on each other to find a solution.”
El Baradei’s remarks are contained in an article by Hersh titled “Iran And The Bomb,” published in the June 6 issue of The New Yorker magazine. Hersh points out that the last two U.S. National Intelligence Estimates (N.I.E.s) on Iranian nuclear progress “have stated that there is no conclusive evidence that Iran has made any effort to build the bomb since 2003.”
An N.I.E. Report supposedly represents the best judgment of the senior offices from all the major American intelligence agencies. The latest report, which came out this year and remains highly classified, is said by Hersh to reinforce the conclusion of the last N.I.E. Report of 2007, that “Iran halted weaponization in 2003.” A retired senior intelligence officer, speaking of the latest N.I.E. Report, told Hersh, “The important thing is that nothing substantially new has been learned in the last four years, and none of our efforts—informants, penetrations, planting of sensors—leads to a bomb.”
Hersh revealed that over the past six years, soldiers from the Joint Special Operations Force, working with Iranian intelligence assets, “put in place cutting-edge surveillance techniques” to spy on suspected Iran facilities. These included:
–Surreptitiously removing street signs and replacing them with signs containing radiation sensors.
–Removing bricks from buildings suspected of containing nuclear enrichment activities and replacing them “with bricks embedded with radiation-monitoring devices.”
–Spreading high-powered sensors disguised as stones randomly along roadways where a suspected underground weapon site was under construction.
–Constant satellite coverage of major suspect areas in Iran.
A lot of baloney
Going beyond these spy activities, two Iranian nuclear scientists last year were assassinated and Hersh says it is widely believed in Tehran that the killers were either American or Israeli agents. Hersh quotes W. Patrick Lang, a retired Army intelligence officer and former ranking Defense Intelligence Agency(DIA) analyst on the Middle East as saying that after the disaster in Iraq, “Analysts in the intelligence community are just refusing to sign up this time for a lot of baloney.”
The DIA is the military counterpart of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Hersh writes that Obama administration officials “have often overstated the available intelligence about Iranian intentions.” He noted that Dennis Ross, a top Obama adviser on the region, told a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that Iran had “significantly expanded its nuclear program.”
Hersh noted further that last March, Robert Einhorn, the special arms control adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told the Arms Control Assn. The Iranians “are clearly acquiring all the necessary elements of a nuclear-weapons capability.” Additionally, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Connecticut, a strong Israel supporter, told Agence France-Presse, “I can’t say much in detail but it’s pretty clear that they’re(Iran) continuing to work seriously on a nuclear-weapons program.”
Hersh recalled that “As Presidential candidates in 2008, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had warned of an Iranian nuclear arsenal, and occasionally spoke as if it were an established fact that Iran had decided to get the bomb.” But last March, Lieutenant General James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence which creates the N.I.E. Assessments, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iran had not decided to re-start its nuclear weapons work.
When asked by Committee Chairman Carl Levin, “What is the level of confidence that you have (in that estimate)? Is that a high level?” Clapper replied, “Yes, it is.” At a round of negotiations in Istanbul five months ago, Iranian officials told Western diplomats that the United States and its allies need to acknowledge Iran’s right to enrich uranium and that they must lift all sanctions against Iran.
Clinton adviser Einhorn has said that because of those sanctions Iran may have lost as much as $60 billion in energy investments and that Iran had also lost business in such industries as shipping, banking, and transportation. “The sanctions bar a wide array of weapons and missile sales to Iran, and make it more difficult for banks and other financial institutions to do business there,” Hersh writes.
However, Hersh says, “The general anxiety about the Iranian regime is firmly grounded” even if there is no hard evidence it is working to build a nuclear weapon. “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly questioned the Holocaust and expressed a desire to see the state of Israel eliminated, and he has defied the 2006 United Nations resolution calling on Iran to suspend its nuclear-enrichment program.”
He goes on to write that while IAEA inspectors “have expressed frustration with Iran’s level of cooperation and cited an increase in production of uranium…they have been unable to find any evidence that enriched uranium has been diverted to an illicit weapons program.”
One approach to resolving the Iran nuclear issue has been suggested by former ranking American diplomat Thomas Pickering, a retired ambassador who served in Russia, Israel, Jordan and India, and who has been active in the American Iranian Council, devoted to the normalization of relations with Iran.
According to Hersh, Pickering has been involved “in secret, back-channel talks with…some of the key advisers close to Ahmadinejad” and has long sought a meeting with President Obama. Hersh quotes one of Pickering’s colleagues as saying if Obama were to grant a meeting, Pickering would tell him: “Get off your no-enrichment policy, which is getting you nowhere.
Stop your covert activities. Give the Iranians a sign that you’re not pursuing regime change. Instead, the Iranians see continued threats, sanctions, and covert operations.” Politico.com reported on May 31 that a senior administration intelligence official asserted Hersh’s article was nothing more than “a slanted book report.”
What about Israel’s Nuclear weapons?
Patrick B. Pexton in his article titled “What about Israel’s Nuclear weapons?” published in www. informationclearinghouse.info, wrote “Washington Post’ — Readers periodically ask me some variation on this question: “Why does the press follow every jot and tittle of Iran’s nuclear program, but we never see any stories about Israel’s nuclear weapons capability?”
It’s a fair question. Going back 10 years into Post archives, I could not find any in-depth reporting on Israeli nuclear capabilities, although national security writer Walter Pincus has touched on it many times in his articles and columns. I spoke with several experts in the nuclear and nonproliferation fields , and they say that the lack of reporting on Israel’s nuclear weapons is real — and frustrating. There are some obvious reasons for this, and others that are not so obvious.
First, Israel refuses to acknowledge publicly that it has nuclear weapons. The U.S. government also officially does not acknowledge the existence of such a program. Israel’s official position, as reiterated by Aaron Sagui, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy here, is that “Israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East.
Israel supports a Middle East free of all weapons of mass destruction following the attainment of peace.” The “introduce” language is purposefully vague, but experts say it means that Israel will not openly test a weapon or declare publicly that it has one.
A child of the Holocaust’s doomsday weapons
According to Avner Cohen, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California who has written two books about this subject, this formulation was born in the mid-1960s in Israel and was the foundation of a still-secret 1969 agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon, reached when the United States became sure that Israel possessed nuclear bombs.
President John Kennedy vigorously tried to prevent Israel from obtaining the bomb; President Lyndon Johnson did so to a much lesser extent. But once it was a done deal, Nixon and every president since has not pressed Israel to officially disclose its capabilities or to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In return, Israel agrees to keep its nuclear weapons unacknowledged and low-profile.
Because Israel has not signed the treaty, it is under no legal obligation to submit its major nuclear facility at Dimona to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections. Iran, in contrast, did sign the treaty and thus agrees to periodic inspections. IAEA inspectors are regularly in Iran, but the core of the current dispute is that Tehran is not letting them have unfettered access to all of the country’s nuclear installations.
Furthermore, although Israel has an aggressive media, it still has military censors that can and do prevent publication of material on Israel’s nuclear forces. Censorship applies to foreign correspondents working there, too. Another problem, Cohen said, is that relatively few people have overall knowledge of the Israeli program and no one leaks. Those in the program certainly do not leak; it is a crime to do so. The last time an Israeli insider leaked, in 1986, nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu was kidnapped by Israeli agents in Italy, taken home to trial, convicted and served 18 years in jail, much of it in solitary confinement.
And perhaps most important, Americans don’t leak about the Israeli nuclear program either. Cohen said information about Israeli nuclear capabilities is some of the most compartmentalized and secret information the U.S. government holds, far more secret than information about Iran, for example. U.S. nuclear researchers, Cohen said, have been reprimanded by their agencies for talking about it openly.
George Perkovich, director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said there are benign and not-so-benign reasons that U.S. officials are so tight-lipped. The United States and Israel are allies and friends. “Do you ‘out’ your friends?” he asked. And not being open about Israel’s nuclear weapons serves both U.S. and Israeli interests, Perkovich noted. If Israel were public about its nukes, or brandished its program recklessly — as North Korea does every time it wants something — it would put more pressure on Arab states to obtain their own bomb.
Among the less benign reasons U.S. sources don’t leak is that it can hurt your career. Said Perkovich: “It’s like all things having to do with Israel and the United States. If you want to get ahead, you don’t talk about it; you don’t criticize Israel, you protect Israel. You don’t talk about illegal settlements on the West Bank even though everyone knows they are there.”
I don’t think many people fault Israel for having nuclear weapons. If I were a child of the Holocaust, I, too, would want such a deterrent to annihilation. But that doesn’t mean the media shouldn’t write about how Israel’s doomsday weapons affect the Middle East equation. Just because a story is hard to do doesn’t mean The Post, and the U.S. press more generally, shouldn’t do it, concludes Patrick B. Pexton.
Shifting focus: Impact of Iran nuclear deal
As details slowly emerge about the interim agreement between Iran and world powers over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, major questions remain over how the deal will impact Iranian foreign relations with both Western and regional states. United States President Barack Obama called the deal reached on Sunday, November 24, 2013, in Geneva an “important first step” towards easing international concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that “the elimination of obstacles in the face of the Iranian nation is of great value”.
The statements reflect a potential rapprochement between Washington and Tehran, but does the agreement truly mark the beginning of the US’ realignment towards Iran? How will the deal impact political alliances and rivalries in the region, particularly the strained relations between Iran and US-allied Saudi Arabia and Israel, who have staunchly opposed the agreement? How will Iran’s influence in the region be affected, especially in relation to the ongoing war in Syria?
Relations with the United States
Iran and the United States cut diplomatic relations short after the 1979 hostage crisis, when Iranian students and activists held US embassy staff and citizens after storming the embassy in Tehran. In recent years, the major dispute between the two countries has been over Iran’s nuclear program. Iran says it is meant only for peaceful purposes, while the US insists the program is aimed at developing a nuclear weapon.
The US trade embargo on Iran was initially imposed in 1995 by then-US President Bill Clinton, in response to what he called Iranian state sponsorship of “terrorism” and its “hostility” to the Middle East peace process. US sanctions have, however, been tightened in recent years, as the US attempts to leverage the economic impact of the sanctions as part of its prevention-rather-than-containment strategy.
But the election earlier this year of a more moderate Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, was seen by many as a positive first step in mending ties between Tehran and Washington, and bridging the gap over the country’s nuclear program. In September, US President Barack Obama spoke to Rouhani by telephone in the highest-level contact between the two countries in over three decades.
The breakthrough agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is the continuation of trust-building measures between the US and Iran. But whether this deal will be enough to build trust between the US and Iran remains to be seen. US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday (November 24, 2013) the US would maintain its close relationship with Israel despite the agreement. Israel has been a vocal opponent to diplomatic initiatives to stall Iran’s nuclear program, forcing Washington to balance between appeasing Israeli security concerns, and gaining Iran’s trust.
The Associated Press reported Sunday that the US and Iran secretly engaged in high-level, face-to-face talks at least three times in the past year. The negotiations were kept secret from even the US’ closest allies, including its negotiating partners, until two months ago. The secret meetings are believed to have laid the groundwork for the interim agreement signed Sunday, November 24, 2013.
Relations with the European Union
European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton has played a leading role in negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.
Senior European leaders and diplomats participated in the P5+1 talks – which brought Iran together with representatives of the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany – and led to the interim agreement. The EU largely follows the US’ lead on relations with Iran, however. The EU has maintained economic sanctions against Iran, for example, and imposed restrictions on trade and contact with the state.
France took a tougher stance on Iran during a previous round of negotiations that ended on November 10. French President Francois Hollande also assured Israel during a three-day visit this month that France would oppose easing economic sanctions on Iran until it received guarantees that it stopped pursuing a nuclear weapon.
The EU is Iran’s main trading partner with trade in goods amounting to $16.6 billion in 2012. Closer ties between the EU and Iran, and an easing of economic sanctions, could mean a boost in this economic cooperation.
Relations with Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Sunday’s nuclear agreement an “historic mistake”. “The world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world,” Netanyahu said. Israel, a staunch US ally, opposed engaging in negotiations with Iran from the start, and warned world leaders against signing an agreement that would allow the Islamic Republic to retain much of its nuclear capabilities while easing economic sanctions.
Israel has said it is ready to act unilaterally to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, hinting at a potential military strike. The issue has been a sticking point in Israel’s relationship with the US, which has urged restraint on the military front. Israel is widely believed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, but has never confirmed nor denied it possesses nuclear weapons.
Asked about Israel’s concerns over the deal Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said: “This agreement is geared towards resolving a problem that has had its shadow cast over the entire world, and over our region. So I do not see any justification whatsoever to be concerned about [the] resolution of a problem.”
Closer Iranian-US relations have the potential of further upsetting Israel, which continues to say that Iran should not be trusted. It could also have a negative impact on Israel-US relations, which are already under stress as US-brokered peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians continue to flounder.
The strengthening of Iran-US ties could have the opposite effect, however, and push an isolated Israel towards finally reaching a peace agreement with neighboring Arab states, or joining countries with which it shares common interests, and want to act as a counterbalance to Iranian ambitions in the region.
Relations with Syria
The Iranian government has been one of the main supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, saying the civil war is an internal matter and vocally opposing US military intervention into the conflict. Syria’s state media said Damascus welcomed Sunday’s agreement, calling it “historic”.
The two countries have a long history of economic and geostrategic ties. Iran allocated massive sums of money for investments in Syrian infrastructure for decades. This includes building gas pipelines to pump Iranian resources across the region.
Since the Syrian war broke out in March 2011, however, Iran’s support for the Syrian government has led to increased tensions with neighboring Lebanon, where spillover from the ongoing war in Syria has increased sectarian tensions in the country, and strained Lebanon’s infrastructure.
Last week, two suicide bombers detonated explosives in front of the Iranian embassy in Beirut, killing 25 people, including a senior Iranian diplomat. A Lebanese group linked to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the blasts, saying it was a “message of blood and death” to Iran and Hezbollah, both Assad supporters.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said earlier this month the only alternative to an agreement between Iran and the West was regional war, and that his party would emerge stronger from any deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran supported Hezbollah in its early years, providing the group with military training and equipment, often through Syrian intermediaries. “If there is understanding, our side will emerge stronger locally and regionally,” Nasrallah said.
But both the al-Assad government in Syria and Hezbollah, are vocal critics of US policy and allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. They may view warming relations between Tehran and Washington with suspicion, and strain their alliances with Tehran.
Better US-Iran relations may mean more flexibility for al-Assad’s government, however, as Iran is expected to play a large role in securing an internationally-brokered agreement to end the conflict in Syria. The US’ traditional allies in the Gulf fear that the deal could also signal a shift in favor of Iranian-backed policies and power in the Middle East, and boost al-Assad, Hezbollah, the Iraqi government of Nuri Al-Maliki, and other Shia groups in the region. (HSH)
This article has also been published in the website: Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)