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Israelis Skeptical Over Iran Nuclear Pact

  • Scott Bobb

Israeli leaders see the interim agreement on Iran's nuclear program as a bad deal that does nothing to stop Iran's efforts to build nuclear weapons and Israeli analysts are skeptical about its success.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly denounced the interim accord on Iran's nuclear program calling it a historic mistake that makes the world a much more dangerous place.

"So, Israel is not bound by this agreement. We cannot and will not allow a regime that calls for the destruction of Israel to obtain the means to achieve this goal. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability," said Netanyahu.

Israeli President Shimon Peres was more conciliatory, noting that this is an interim accord.

"The success or failure of the deal will be judged by results, not by words. I would like to say to the Iranian people: you are not our enemies and we are not yours. There is a possibility to solve this issue diplomatically. It is in your hands. Reject terrorism," said Peres.

Israeli experts say the deal does not significantly reduce Iran's ability to make nuclear weapons. A former official with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ephraim Asculai, of the Institute for National Security Studies, doubts the Iranian's commitment.

"The Iranians will drag out the negotiations as long as they see a chance of dragging it out. They have been at it for a long time. They are excellent negotiators," said Asculai.

An analyst with the Institute for National Security Studies, Emily Landau, says the only question for Israel is whether Iran really abandons its nuclear weapons ambitions, which Iran denies having.

"If there's indication that they're backing away from that, then I think Israel will have no problem with lifting sanctions and whatever else the international community is considering doing," said Landau.

Landau does not believe this will happen.

"The truth is at this point, I don't think anybody can eliminate Iran’s nuclear program. It’s too vast. It’s too dispersed. Much of it is underground. There may be even parts of it that the international community is not aware of, that are still hidden," she said.

Experts say even military strikes against Iranian weapons installations are not likely to end any Iranian nuclear program. As a result, they say this option is best used as a threat to press for a negotiated solution.
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