On Wednesday morning, New Zealand Time, United States President Donald Trump announced that the United States is withdrawing from the multi-lateral agreement struck over Iranian nuclear weapons. Mr Trump said that the deal was bad for the United States and Israel. But was it really?
The Iran deal is still alive. It has the support of the other five signatories plus Iran. The deal is sufficiently robust in that it ensures Iran has no Highly Enriched Uranium, which is essential for nuclear weapons with a uranium core. It ensures that Iran has not got sufficient to allow the manufacture of the H.E.U. The guarantee of the German, French, British, Russian and Chinese Governments that Iran will be held to the terms of this agreement should be sufficient to:
- Guarantee that Iran still has international obligations to meet
- Guarantee that in return for meeting those obligations the agree concessions will be enabled in full
I am not convinced that either Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the President of the United States, Donald Trump want peace. The reactions of both when the Iranian deal was signed was totally negative.
Mr Netanyahu has not supported the agreement from Day 1. He has insisted that Iran will not comply and that it would pose an undue security threat to Israel. Mr Netanyahu has even gone so far as to claim Iran has lied and that a clandestine nuclear weapons programme continues in the background. Yet this same Prime Minister of Israel has yet to present the evidence that he is confident he has of Iranian non-compliance to the United Nations General Assembly. And until he does, Iran must be given the benefit of the doubt in the same way the accused is not guilty until proven so.
Contrary to Mr Trump’s assertion that he supports the Iranian people, he is pushing them towards arms of the Mullahs. The Islamic hardliners no more wanted this deal than Mr Trump did and as a result would be quietly delighted i Iranians started supporting them. Iran is anathema to Mr Netanyahu, whose tone has become openly hostile towards the Persian state. Mr Netanyahu claims that he has no desire for war, but seems to be openly contemptuous of what might be the best chance at a lasting peace in 50 years or more.
Is Iran perfect? Absolutely not, and it has supplied Hezbollah and other Islamic militant groups with rockets of increasing firepower, range and accuracy. Iran has had highly contentious elections such as the 2009 one where former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – who I saw nick named Iwannajihad in one political group during his time in office – was re-(s)elected. The 2009 election was characterized by heavy rigging, stuffed ballots and lethal violence when Iranians realized what was happening.
But nor is Israel. It is a country with an estimated 100-200 nuclear warheads, yet is the first to grumble if anyone in the Middle East favours so much as a nuclear reactor not capable of converting low grade uranium to weapons grade material. There are separate articles about how Palestine has been poorly treated and that is beyond the scope of this article. What is not beyond the scope is the effort of the Israeli military gearing up for war. It has taken delivery of bunker busting bombs that can penetrate deep bunkers
Their proxy super powers have their own problems, ongoing and increasingly capable of accidentally causing W.W.3. before anyone actually realizes that on that particular day, it is for real. Neither Russia or the United States are squeaky clean around human rights abuses, but human rights abuses seem to be going unchecked. So, when will they be?