Israel should ensure that the international community remains briefed on the full picture of Iran’s nuclear program, as talks between the P5+1 countries and Tehran continue, former Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Ze’evi Farkash told The Jerusalem Post.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has cleverly adapted his country’s nuclear policies to fit the Islamic Republic’s economic and social needs, Farkash stated.
Iran has not altered its trajectory, aimed at building nuclear military capability, Farkash said. But it has adapted government policy by trying to make the West more confident that a change has occurred in Iran, and that the agreement to prevent nuclear breakout will be honored. That could enable sanctions to eventually be lifted.
Rouhani’s policy is shaped by social and economic needs within Iranian society.
“I believe it is very clever, how Rouhani is shaping his policy,” Farkash said.
Iran is four to six months from nuclear breakout from the moment it decides to do so, Farkash warned.
It is on course to receiving approval form the international community to enrich uranium to low levels (3 to 5 percent), Farksah said, but a ban on medium or high uranium enrichment looks set to stay, he added.
“This is a very important process. It makes it easier for the Iranian economy. I don’t believe this is an Iranian deception. They have gone for a policy of compromise, and progressing [toward nuclear breakout] step by step,” he added.
Israel should let this process play out, Farkash said, and ensure that the West keeps its “eyes open” through intelligence.
This will enable the international community to understand what steps “Iran is really taking, and to see the real picture of the Iranian nuclear program,” the former intelligence chief stated.
Talks between the P5+1 countries and Iran should not be limited to the uranium enrichment process only, but also include the military weaponization aspect of Iran’s program, which takes fissile material and transforms it into a nuclear warhead, he argued.
“It’s crucial that the international community ensures the agreement includes weaponization. It must also deal with Iran’s surface to surface ballistic missile program. If the international community can reduce the range of the missiles to 600 or 700 kilometers, Iran can continue developing the missiles without threatening Europe, Israel, or even Saudi Arabia. Riyadh would be out of reach,” he said.
“If Iran’s nuclear program is not military, why does it need missiles with ranges of 2,000, 5,000, and finally 10,000 kilometers, which can hit the eastern coast of the US?” Farkash asked. “Intelligence will be vital to ensure that the [future] agreement is enforced,” he said.
Negotiators have to ensure that they can reinstate “the sanctions architecture” in future, should Iran be found in violation of an agreement.
Threats of military action are one aspect of encouraging Iran to comply, he said.
Turning his attention to the situation in Syria [the interview was conducted before ISIS’s takeover of swaths of Iraq], Farkash said jihadi terrorists from ISIS and the Jabhat Al-Nusra Front will target Israel after toppling the Assad regime. He listed the growing threat of international terrorism posed by foreign jihadi volunteers, who are expected to return to Europe, the US, and South America.
“We have to be wary of this development. Western countries must deal with it, with the help of Interpol, and daily intelligence exchanges, to make sure that terrorists don’t head to Europe and the US and make life terrible,” Farkash warned.
Today, Farkash is CEO of the FST Biometrics security firm.
The company has installed hi-tech security clearance technologies at three airports around the world so far. The solutions offered by the company allow devices to clear approved employees for entry to restricted areas, and to do so while they are in motion.
“This allows a lot of people to enter in a convenient and secure manner,” Farkash said.
“Security is crucial, but it slows down our life in every place,” he said. “Our paradigm at FST is biometrics. We can increase security dramatically and conveniently,” he added. “This lets known and identifiable people enter very quickly."
Previously, human guards had to see that it was only approved employees entering. By reducing the cost, and identifying people in motion, our solution lets them go ahead with their duties.