Assuming that President Joe Biden concludes his deal with Iran, as now seems all but certain, Israel cannot expect any significant assistance from the United States, regardless of the results of the midterm elections, in diminishing the dangers, or changing American policy in any substantive way until after a different president is in the Oval Office. And if concrete measures aren’t taken during this interim period, Iran will enter the so-called “zone of immunity.” It will have enough military nuclear capability to operate both directly and through its proxies under a nuclear umbrella. And Israel will face a threat environment it will be hard pressed to handle.
This is the upshot of a riveting, must-see discussion of the current state of play in the Biden administration’s nuclear diplomacy that I had this week with Richard Goldberg in the Mideast News Hour this week. Goldberg is a senior advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and was a senior official in the National Security Council during the Trump administration, charged among other things, with dealing with Iran. Goldberg set out the known contents of the deal now being concluding and demonstrated how it is categorically different – and worse — than the so called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the nuclear deal that Barack Obama concluded with Iran in 2015.
Goldberg explained the weakness of the deal’s restrictions on Iran’s nuclear operations, both from the perspective of the duration of the restrictions, and their substance. They discussed the mechanisms built in to the deal that give Iran continuous power to extort still more concessions from the United States, even after the negotiations are ostensibly over. They discussed how the deal is constructed to minimize Congressional oversight, including Congress’s ability to legislate new sanctions against Iran. And finally, they discussed where this deal leaves Iran vis-à-vis Israel, and how devastating it is for the survival of the Jewish state.
I introduced new final remarks at the end of the episode, where I related Goldberg’s warnings to the ongoing policy debate between the Lapid-Gantz government and Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu. The roots of this dispute are nearly fifty years old and go to the heart of how Israel views America’s commitment to its security.
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Reprinted with author’s permission from Caroline Glick