Arad To Bibi: Work To Strengthen Iran Deal


Saying the proposed Iranian nuclear deal has many good features, an Israeli national security expert suggested today that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drop his opposition and instead work with the U.S. to strengthen it.

“The agreement has positive elements that could be built on and that is what Israel should be doing,” said Uzi Arad, a former national security adviser to Netanyahu. “It should be strengthened rather than derailed.”

Among the “good parts,” he said, is that it limits the Iranian stockpile of enriched uranium with which to make a nuclear weapon.

Among the bad parts, he observed, is that the agreement puts restraints on Iran’s nuclear program for a limited time.

“After it lapses, the road would be wide open,” Arad said in a conference call organized by the Israel Policy Forum. “They would not be dismantling their [nuclear] infrastructure, and would be retaining the ability to produce nuclear weapons in the future.”

Asked how the agreement could be changed if the other nations that were a party to the deal have already signaled their support, Arad replied: “The history of arms-control agreements is that they are always long and torturous. Nothing has been decided. There are always rounds and rounds [of talks]. There is a need for much patience to accomplish anything.”

Although the agreement requires Congress to approve or reject it by Sept. 17, Arad insisted: “Deadlines are artificial; this is not necessarily a done deal.”

He also voiced displeasure with President Barack Obama for singling out Israel as the only country in the world opposed to the Iranian nuclear deal.

“Maybe it’s my Jewish sensitivity,” he said. “We don’t like to be singled out. We’re not comfortable with that. We certainly have cause to be very prudent on this matter. Israel is the only country that in consistent statements Iran calls for its destruction. And Iran is actively supporting those who are attacking Israel. It will be seeking politically and otherwise to bring about Israel’s demise.”