The Iran Deal: From Thriller to Horror Story

The international community is ensuring the establishment of a new Iranian nuclear program, immeasurably more dangerous than its predecessor.

Ari Shavit
Ari Shavit
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Who will enjoy the last laugh following this week's agreement between Iran and the world powers?
Who will enjoy the last laugh following this week's agreement between Iran and the world powers?Credit: AP
Ari Shavit
Ari Shavit

After a long, intensive work week and an intensive hour in Channel 1’s television studio, I took a plane and craved for the moment in which I could finally close my eyes. But until take-off I decided to take a quick look at the thick document of the nuclear agreement with Iran. After reading all kinds of summaries, it was time to read the text itself.

“The joint comprehensive plan of action” that was signed in Vienna on July 14, 2015, turned out to be a thriller. While my neighboring passengers plunged into their dreams, I couldn’t put down the 159-page document, which could turn the world we live in into a nightmare.

First of all, the points of light: The international negotiating team managed to get the Iranians to make a sweeping commitment not to develop and not to acquire nuclear weapons. More importantly, the team surprisingly succeeded in suspending the old Iranian nuclear program. The reactor in Arak, the enrichment facility in Natanz and the facility in Fordow will indeed stop threatening the world in the next decade. Reducing the number of centrifuges and the amount of enriched uranium and monitoring the known sites – these are all substantial achievements.

Then the shadows in the agreement: The Iranian negotiating team succeeded in destroying completely the sanctions mechanism that had been activated against Iran. It also managed to prevent real, effective supervision of secret, unknown nuclear sites.

Consequently, if the Islamic Republic decides to develop a covert nuclear program outside Fordow, Nantanz and Arak, it will have no difficulty doing so. The chance of its getting caught is low and the chance of reactivating the sanctions is slim. So the decision of whether to race or not to race toward the bomb in a new secret track will be very much up to Iran.

Now for the darkness: In the Vienna agreement, the United States, European Union, Britain, France, Russia and China recognize again and again Iran’s right to develop advanced centrifuges. These centrifuges’ enrichment capacity could be 5-10 times bigger than the capacity of the old ones, which Iran is now foregoing.

This means that the international community is not only enabling, but actually ensuring the establishment of a new Iranian nuclear program, which will be immeasurably more powerful and dangerous than its predecessor. In fact the Iranians are giving up an outdated, anachronistic deployment in order to build an innovative legitimate one, with the world’s permission and authority.

“The joint comprehensive plan of action” will lead to Iran becoming in 2025 a muscular nuclear tiger ready to spring forward, with an ability to produce dozens of nuclear bombs.

After many hours of reading I had to stop. The thriller had become a horror story. Not only was the content inconceivable, the tone was, too. The fact is that in each chapter Iran’s dignity is preserved, but the U.S. and Europe’s isn’t. The fact is that the Iranian Islamic Consultative Assembly, or Majlis, has a much higher status in the agreement than the American Congress. The fact is that Iran is unrepentant, does not promise a change of course and takes an almost supercilious attitude toward the other parties. As though it had been a campaign between Iran and the West, and Iran won and is now dictating the surrender terms to the West.

The thin jet of light from the reading lamp above me lit the historic document, which is going to shake the Middle East and shape the 21st century. In the quiet darkness of 40,000 feet high I looked at it and around, and shuddered.

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