Final round of negotiations on a nuclear deal with Iran continue in Vienna November 21, 2014.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
History teaches us that countries will defend their interests by whatever means necessary, including fraud. From the Trojan horse through Operation Barbossa all the way to that greatest of frauds, Hitler’s Molotov- Ribbentrop pact, history abounds with examples. Therefore we can assume that US President Barack Obama understands that in signing an agreement with the US regarding its nuclear program, Iran is committing an act of fraud; Iran desires military nuclear capability, ASAP. On the other hand, Iran wishes to be free of the stifling economic sanctions currently in place against it.
So what do the Iranians do? They promise (in a treaty) something that sounds “reasonable” to the Western alliance countries, all the while intending to covertly pursue military nuclear capability. In effect the current bone of contention involves the supervision terms of the agreement – the ability of the West to expose the fraud. All parties understand this is the issue. The only question is when the fraud will be exposed, not whether it will be exposed.
However, as long as there is no agreement between Iran and the Western alliance countries, Iran continues to hurry toward military nuclear capability. Iran isn’t stopping, not for a second, with an agreement or without one.
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So what do the Americans do? They commit a counter-fraud. How? With an agreement that delays, even by a little, Iran’s march to the bomb, while in the meantime developing the ability to destroy sites critical to the Iranian nuclear program. For this, they need time.
If indeed the official agreement signed by the Western alliance countries is breached, the chance that the Iranian fraud will be revealed becomes higher.
Again, the only question is when, not if, this will happen. if the exposure comes too late – after Iran already has long-range nuclear capability – the risk of an attack will be enormous. On the other hand, executing an attack without exposing the fraud is not an option.
Therefore, as long as supervision of the agreement is firm, the chance increases that violations will be identified in time, enabling the US and allied Western countries to act swiftly and effectively.
A formal breach of the nuclear agreement by Iran will aid the West in recruiting allies for military action against the Islamic Republic.
Once the decision to neutralize Iran via military intervention has been made, the US will have a new set of objectives. The emphasis will be on relevance.
The West will seek to avoid the use of nuclear weapons, but will still aim to end the campaign in a matter of hours or less, with as few innocent civilian casualties as possible. The US has the capability to do this, given time to prepare.
A Western strike must neutralize all Iranian nuclear facilities as well as their contents, with as little environmental damage as possible and as little collateral damage as possible, while at the same time degrading the enemy’s will and ability to counter-attack.
In WWII, the US narrowly beat Germany to the bomb, by which means it brought the war to an end. Without that advantage, the modern world would be a very different place. Today, the gap between America’s technological capabilities and those of the rest of the world has widened, being measured in generations.
If Iran does not breach the agreement, that would be sufficient. The minimax approach that was developed in game theory applies in this case, with the basis of presumption that the rival is intelligent and defines its strategic approach in accordance.
Today, Israel is not a factor in the multi-dimensional parallelogram of power of the agreement with Iran. This occurred because of an extreme and unrealistic approach taken by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his choir. In Israel, a public discussion confronting Netanyahu’s position doesn’t exist. This is a fundamental weakness, and with the cessation of campaign considerations a new political opposition must be formed around it.
Israel must put pressure on one issue alone – the supervision of the agreement, even if it finds the agreement itself unsatisfying. This war is about time, and every year that we gain in our sizzling, constantly changing region will be sufficient for us.
Shimon Batat is the CEO of the Labor Party and head of the Zionist Union headquarters.
Dr. Haim Assa is a former national security adviser to prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.