As expected, the talks between the world powers and Iran ended on Saturday with
a decision – not one that would suspend the enrichment of uranium or escalate
economic sanctions – but one to hold another round of talks in about five
Israel is likely to remain quiet until then and allow the West to
try and get the job done. But if that doesn’t happen, the military option will
move back to the front of the line right when the summer begins, a time some
might call the perfect season – due to clear skies – for a military
But what happens if the talks conclude with a resolution that is
neither a clear victory for Israel nor a clear failure? What if the Iranians
agree to suspend uranium enrichment to a level of 20 percent but refuse to stop
enrichment to a level of 3.5%? What if Iran agrees to surrender its stockpile of
enriched uranium but refuses to open its facilities to international
inspections? Such outcomes would place Israel in a difficult position.
the one hand, it would not be satisfied. But on the other, it would not want to
do anything that might be seen as undermining an outcome likely to be hailed by
US President Barack Obama – who is looking to be reelected – as a diplomatic
Attacking in such a situation would go against everything Israel
so far has tried to do, which is to show the world that it is not an obstacle to
diplomacy and negotiations so that when the day comes and it can no longer wait
it will be able to say, “We gave you a chance but we no longer have a
Jerusalem made its conditions for the talks known ahead of time.
The strategy was to ensure that the West would go into the talks knowing it
would take a lot to satisfy Israel. On the other hand, Jerusalem purposely set
the bar higher than that of Washington so that if something less were achieved
it might still be enough.
Ultimately though, Israeli defense officials
are skeptical that the talks will bear fruit.
Iran is simply perceived to
be close to the bomb and is not yet hurting enough, despite the unprecedented
With already five tons of low enriched uranium and over 100
kilograms of uranium that has been enriched to 20 percent, Iran already has
enough fissionable material to make four nuclear weapons if it decides
Tehran has overcome every obstacle placed in its way for the last
decade, including sabotage and assassinations, and today is on the
Getting it to stop is not going to be easy.