Israel’s Security Cabinet unanimously rejected the nuclear deal signed Tuesday (July 14) with Iran, and declared “Israel is not bound by it.”
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel went on to say “The Joint Comprehensive Agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran… impairs Israel’s national security.
“The agreement enables Iran to continue its significant enrichment of uranium far beyond any practical civilian needs…
“In placing partial constraints for a limited number of years and areas, the agreement in effect only postpones Iran’s achievement of military nuclear capability,” the statement continued. “When these limitations end, Iran will be able to increase its overall enrichment capacity significantly.
“The agreement does not adequately limit Iran’s research and development capabilities, particularly with regard to advanced centrifuges. In the case of “breakout” to a nuclear device, Iran could rely on its ability to enrich rapidly and covertly, shortening the time needed to produce a bomb.
“Iran already has the enrichment capability to produce a bomb. It also has the suitable means of delivery (ballistic missiles and advanced guided missiles.) Without limitations on its weaponization, the way is paved for Iran to assemble a bomb.
“The agreement curtails UN Security Council resolutions that imposed an arms embargo on Iran and restrictions on its ballistic missile capabilities. The outcome of such concessions could enable Iran to further develop its missile program and to enhance its conventional military capabilities.
“The agreement does not ensure a tight enough monitoring and verification mechanism. Iran has achieved its advanced nuclear capability covertly despite the IAEA’s safeguards mechanism, and will be able to continue deceiving, evading and concealing.
“As part of the economic benefits of the agreement, Iran will gain access to frozen funds (up to $150 billion). These funds will be used to increase Iran’s subversive activities in the region and its support of terror (including Hezbollah) against Israel and its neighbors, as well as to strengthen the rule of the Ayatollahs. Iran’s subversive activities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will only increase, as it will enjoy international legitimacy deriving from this agreement and an empowered status as a threshold nuclear state. “Nuclear capabilities in the hands of Iran are a game changer and will almost certainly spark a nuclear arms race that will undermine regional security in the Middle East.
“A nuclear Iran is a threat not only to Israel but also to the moderate countries in the Middle East and well beyond.”
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier came to the defense of the new agreement, saying Israel should take a “closer look” and “not criticize the agreement in a very coarse way.” Steinmeier told German broadcaster ARD in an interview, “In the agreement, Iran has to commit to these monitoring possibilities. And we will make sure that the monitoring possibilities are also observed after this deal.”
U.S. President Barack Obama also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday in a phone conversation in which he reiterated America’s commitment to Israel’s security. He also told Netanyahu that Defense Secretary Ash Carter will travel to Israel next week, the White House told media in a statement following the call.
But the deep concern over the prospect of a nuclear arms race in the region is no fantasy to Israel’s neighbors, either — including those who live elsewhere in the Middle East.
In its first statement attributed to an “official source,” Riyadh said Saudi Arabia supported an agreement to stop Tehran gaining nuclear weapons but emphasized the importance of a strict inspections regime and the ability to reimpose sanctions. An earlier statement likewise underlined the issue of preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.