Iranian Nuclear Deal
A nuclear Iran is widely considered by both the US and Israel to constitute an existential threat to Israel’s future and a severe threat to American national security. For nearly three decades, efforts to counter Iran’s nuclear program have been a primary focus of US-Israeli relations. In recent years much of the focus has been on the prospects for an Iranian nuclear deal, whether the original Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or a new one.
In thinking about the Iranian nuclear program, and what can be done about it today, it is crucial to understand that Iran had surmounted the technological obstacles to a bomb by 2010, probably earlier, and could have begun production of nuclear weapons at that time, had its leadership chosen to do so. Iran was thus already essentially a threshold nuclear power by the time the JCPOA was signed in 2015. The US withdrew from the deal in 2018 and Iran subsequently began a staged withdrawal a year later. As of this writing, it appears that we may soon be heading for a showdown.
Given both the technological and diplomatic complexity of the issue, it is difficult to understand the myriad and inter-related issues at stake. Crucial questions include whether or not the nuclear deal was actually good for the US and Israel, whether the American withdrawal was wise, and most importantly what we should be doing today.
The Greatest Threat Today
With Iran’s nuclear ambitions postponed, at least temporarily, the greatest immediate danger Iran poses is its growing regional influence, as well as that of its proxies, first and foremost Hezbollah. Iran is actively seeking to build a permanent military presence in Syria and Iraq, possibly Yemen, has provided Hezbollah with a mammoth arsenal of some 130,000 rockets and is now trying to further upgrade it by providing precision missiles, a potential game changer for Israel. In effect, Israel’s “northern front”, has become one Iranian-Hezbollah-Syrian nexus, with Russia’s presence in Syria in the background.
The talk will focus on six primary questions regarding the Iranian nuclear issue:
- Why Iran wants a nuclear capability.
- The sources of the enmity between Iran, the US and Israel.
- What it means for the US and international community if Iran goes nuclear.
- Ramifications of a nuclear Iran for Israel
- The Iran nuclear deal – advantages, dangers and where we stand today.
- US and Israeli policy options to prevent Iran from going nuclear today.
If you prefer, the talk can take a broader perspective, addressing the Iranian challenge generally, not just the nuclear issue, but the missile program, Iran’s regional expansionism, first and foremost its attempts to set up a permanent military base in Syria, support for Hezbollah, cyber program and more.
Join me for a riveting, thought-provoking and disturbing, but ultimately comforting discussion.
- “Never Again” – the Iranian Nuclear Threat and How to Stop It
- Rockets, Nukes and Cyber Too – Israel’s Current Security Challenges
- From Stuxnet to the Nuclear Archive: US-Israeli Efforts to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program
For further information and to book a talk press Book a Talk button below.