Israel Seen As Shifting Stance on Nuclear Iran: Report

Global Security Newswire Staff
May 2, 2014, 6:55 a.m.

Some former U.S. of­fi­cials and is­sue ex­perts say Is­rael ap­pears to have ac­cep­ted Ir­an be­ing al­lowed some de­gree of nuc­le­ar cap­ab­il­ity, Al-Mon­it­or re­ports.

The re­por­ted shift comes as talks between world powers and Ir­an point to­ward a likely out­come in which Tehran would re­tain a por­tion of its atom­ic pro­gram — which it says serves only peace­ful pur­poses — al­beit with some re­stric­tions aimed at pre­vent­ing an nuc­le­ar weapons pro­gram. Ir­an hopes to gain re­lief from in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions un­der a com­pre­hens­ive deal still be­ing fi­nal­ized.

Al-Mon­it­or cites one former U.S. of­fi­cial who par­ti­cip­ated in con­sulta­tions with Is­rael last month as say­ing of­fi­cials there seem to “un­der­stand that there is a need for a do­mest­ic, in­di­gen­ous civil nuc­le­ar pro­gram” if the Ir­a­ni­ans are to sat­is­fy their do­mest­ic op­pos­i­tion. Jer­u­s­alem of­fi­cials in­stead have turned their at­ten­tion to po­ten­tial prob­lems in­volved in poli­cing any nuc­le­ar deal between Tehran and the the five per­man­ent mem­bers of the U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil plus Ger­many, the so-called “P-5+1” group.

“But two is­sues are go­ing to be very hard to per­suade the Is­rael­is on,” Al-Mon­it­or quotes an un­named former U.S. dip­lo­mat in­volved in the re­cent con­sulta­tions as say­ing. “Mon­it­or­ing: There is very little be­lief any­where in Is­rael that a [com­pre­hens­ive nuc­le­ar] ac­cord can be mon­itored … that en­sures there is not go­ing to be clandes­tine activ­ity, and the Ir­a­ni­ans [could] not break out” at some point.

In ad­di­tion, the U.S. in­siders re­port Is­rael is con­cerned that any Ir­a­ni­an vi­ol­a­tions of a nuc­le­ar deal would be so gradu­al and slow that Wash­ing­ton would find it hard to identi­fy a point in time when ac­tion is war­ran­ted.

Mean­while, a seni­or Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial on Thursday re­it­er­ated Wash­ing­ton’s read­i­ness to trig­ger new sanc­tions against Ir­an if up­com­ing ne­go­ti­ations in Vi­enna fail, the Jer­u­s­alem Post re­por­ted. “If talks break down, and if Ir­an is not ne­go­ti­at­ing in good faith, we are pre­pared to work with Con­gress to im­pose more sanc­tions,” Jake Sul­li­van, a deputy as­sist­ant to Pres­id­ent Obama, said on Thursday at an event sponsored by the Found­a­tion for De­fense of Demo­cra­cies.

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