The PJ Tatler

Israeli Officials: Obama has Already Given Iran 80% of What they Want in Nuke Negotiations


0000000.0Considering that he has given our enemy Iran 80% of what they want in negotiations that were supposed to curtail their nuclear enrichment program, you bet I would. The guy is a pushover and if I played my cards right, I might end up walking off the lot with a free car.

According to Channel 10 in Israel, Israeli officials believe that the American president is so desperate for a deal, he will give away the store — and American and Israeli security — in his quest to “make history” with the Iranians.

Jerusalem Post:

Israeli officials told Channel 10 on Friday that they are convinced the Obama administration has already agreed to most of Iran’s demands in the P5+1 negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

According to unnamed officials, Washington “has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want” out of the negotiations, Channel 10 is reporting.

Jerusalem officials appear alarmed at the prospect that the United States will soon strike a deal with the Iranian regime that will leave it with a “breakout capacity” of months during which it can gallop toward a nuclear bomb.

The practical significance of the American compromises in the talks is that Iran will be permitted to keep over 7,000 centrifuges, enough for the Iranians to produce enough enriched material to sprint toward the bomb within a matter of months.

These developments have apparently fueled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sense of urgency in traveling to Washington and addressing Congress in hopes of lobbying American lawmakers to pass tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Channel 10 reported that Netanyahu spoke to a number of Democratic lawmakers in Congress. The premier sought to assuage their concerns that the Israeli leader was using his speech before a joint session of the house in order to undermine Obama’s foreign policy.

Netanyahu’s scheduled speech sparked an uproar in Washington, with Democrats accusing House speaker John Boehner of inviting the premier to speak before Congress as a means of whipping up opposition to the Obama administration’s talks with Iran.

Sources in Jerusalem told Channel 10 that the prime minister views the Iranian nuclear issue as one of paramount importance for Israel’s security. The urgency of the matter – and not partisan politics – is what motivated Netanyahu to violate diplomatic protocol and accept the Republican leadership’s invitation to address the Congress on the need for more sanctions against Iran, Channel 10 quotes officials as saying.

After expressing due skepticism at the claim that the administration has tanked the negotiations and given the Iranians almost everything they want, we should look very closely at that 7,000 centrifuge number and understand exactly what Prime Minister Netanyahu is so concerned about.

As a courtesy, the administration has been updating the Israeli government on certain aspects of the negotiations. This is not to give the Israelis a veto, but rather allow them a heads up if they feel they have to respond to a changed situation.

The centrifuge question is of critical importance because Iran is on the verge of modernizing those machines that separate the U-238 and create low enriched uranium. The modernization program is what most concerns Netanyahu.

From an article on the Arms Control Association website:

This article therefore suggests that, during the next five years, Iran should modernize its enrichment facilities and in doing so, keep its operating capacity at about the current level rather than begin to operate the many thousands of first-generation machines that it already has installed and continue setting up more. During this period, Iran could phase out its first-generation machines in favor of the second-generation centrifuges it already has installed but has not yet operated. At the same time, it could develop, produce, and store components for a future generation of centrifuges that would be suitable for commercial-scale deployment. These later-generation centrifuges would not need to be assembled, except for test machines, until at least 2019.

To maintain the confidence of the international community that there will be no diversion of centrifuge components to a secret enrichment plant, the current transparency measures that Iran has undertaken for its centrifuge program would continue. These transparency measures should become the standard for transparency for centrifuge production worldwide.

Iran currently operates about 20,000 of these first generation centrifuges, which are relatively inefficient and unreliable. But the next generation machines would probably double the production capacity of their program — even with only 7,000 machines. As the Israelis point out, this would telescope the time frame for Iran to gear up to produce bomb grade uranium.

Netanyahu is hearing a lot of criticism from both US and Israeli officials for his planned speech to Congress in March. But perhaps he’s willing to sacrifice his standing because he knows instinctively that only a direct, emotional appeal to Israel’s friends in the US can avoid the catastrophic outcome of these one-sided negotiations.