Published On: Tue, Feb 24th, 2015

US-Iran Nuclear Deal Near-Ready, Sanctions Iranian Bomb in 10 Years

Officials also expect the new deal to seriously damage U.S.-Israel relations, on account of the Israelis hoping to avoid being nuked in their sleep by the Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

On Monday, the U.S. and Iran have reported they are moving towards a historic deal to restrain Tehran’s nuclear program for 10 years, then gradually lift restrictions on the very programs that would end up with a home-grown atomic weapon, AP reported.

U.S. officials have said they can see a deal before the March 31 deadline, assuming it won’t face serious opposition in either countries.

Now, that’s realistic…

Officials also expect the new deal to seriously damage U.S.-Israel relations, on account of the Israelis hoping to avoid being nuked in their sleep by the Islamic Revolution.

Israel’s official position is that nothing short of dismantling Iran’s nuclear capability is acceptable. And that’s not the deal on the table, by a long stretch.

So no Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress next week could be the most watched speech in decades. And there’s no telling what such a deal would do to the Congress-White House relations.

“We made progress, ” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday. More discussions between Iran and the six nations representing human civilization are scheduled for next Monday, according to a senior U.S. official cited by AP.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran and the U.S. found “a better understanding.”

The essence of the deal currently on the negotiating table is that if Iran behaves nicely over the time of the agreement—10 years, presumably—then it would be rewarded over the last years by gradually lifting the limits on its uranium enrichment program, while slowly easing economic sanctions.

Several officials spoke of 6, 500 centrifuges as a potential point of compromise, AP reported, with the U.S. hoping to limit those to the IR-1 model instead of more advanced utilities.

In Israel there has already been sharp criticizing overnight of the deal’s very outline. Sources close to the prime minister say that this is exactly what Netanyahu warned about, and that the agreement is bad and dangerous to Israel and to the world.

According to these sources, the deal news illustrate the importance of the prime minister’s speech in Congress next week, before the deadline for achieving the agreement.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett sharply criticized the apparent agreement and the danger it poses, Israel Radio reported.

Minister Steinitz warned that the deal could turn Iran into a nuclear threshold state in a decade, meaning it would be several weeks away from producing fissile material for dozens of nuclear bombs.

Steinitz said that reports of an agreement allowing Iran to run 6, 500 centrifuges and to upgrade its uranium enrichment system is very troubling, and expressed the hope that the international powers not sign such an agreement.

Defense Minister Ya’alon reiterated that the upcoming agreement with Iran endangers the Western world and threaten the security of Israel.

From current reports, it appears the Israeli side is right to be concerned, seeing as the deal sanctions Iran’s raising its enrichment process to any level it desires.

So this deal may be dead on arrival.

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