Netanyahu's Odd Iran Presentation
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the stage yesterday to discuss what the Israeli government had said would be "significant" new developments regarding Iran's nuclear program. However, what Netanyahu laid out had been public knowledge for a decade; Iran, despite earlier statements to the contrary, did indeed have a nuclear weapons program prior to its signing of the Iran Nuclear deal [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA] in 2015. Actually, America and other nations negotiated that deal because Iran was developing a nuclear capacity and no one believed that their nuclear ambitions were restricted to civilian uses.
Rob Malley, who was on Obama's Iran negotiating team, pointed this out yesterday on Twitter saying Netanyahu offered "nothing new" and suggested that Israel was simply trying to influence President Trump's coming decision on pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran.
Furthermore, Netanyahu had nothing new on compliance; Iran is adhering to the agreement which will forestall their nuclear weapons program for almost another 15 years. Monitors from the IAEA have carried out snap inspections at Iranian nuclear sites and there is no proof of cheating. Even after the deal is concluded, because they are signatories to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran could not legally build a bomb. And what if they restart their nuclear program? We would be in the same position that we were in before the JCPOA; negotiate a new agreement, impose new sanctions or go to war. We would not have lost a thing. On the other hand, staying in the nuclear deal provides the best chance to prevent another long, bloody war.