By: J. Zel Lurie
July 15, 2015
A journalist, specializing in promoting peace in the Middle East for over 80 years, J. Zel Lurie, writes a monthly column using anecdotes from his rich personal history on Israeli politics. He has worked tirelessly for peace and a two state solution. Zel Lurie is a founding editor of the Palestine Post which later became the Jerusalem Post back before the State of Israel existed.
The agreement reached by Iran and six world powers, most of whom have stockpiles of nuclear bombs, which will prevent Iran from joining the nuclear club for at least ten years, is a done deal.
The Republican dominated Congress will fulminate in end-of-the-world language for 60 days, but there is no way that they can stop it.
Russia and China are particularly anxious for the deal to be implemented. Russia is suffering economically by sanctions and needs to sell arms to Iran. China needs Iranian oil. I am told that there are two large tankers loaded with thousands of tons of Iranian crude, waiting in Iranian ports to sail to China.
According to Avishay Gordis, an Israeli think-tanker, Iran is a month and a half away from accumulating enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. By this agreement, the centrifuges in two underground factories will slow down and will take a year to accumulate sufficient fuel for a bomb. It will then hold this fuel for at least ten years under close international supervision (The New York Times diagram puts it at 15 years).
During this decade or decade and a half, Israel, which has never announced its nuclear facilities and has never threatened to use it as Iran has threatened Israel, will continue to manufacture nukes unhindered. No one knows for sure how many Israel has, but the last figure I heard was 120. If Iran eventually manufactures a bomb or a few of them and has an accurate missile to carry it past the Iron Dome protection, it could destroy Tel Aviv. Israel’s second strike of over a hundred bombs, some of them coming from Israeli nuclear submarines stationed in the Persian Gulf, would destroy the entire country of Iran, not just one city.
I have a broker who is a staunch Republican. He believes that the above scenario is realistic. He says that the religious fanatics who rule Iran have no regard for human life. They will go underground, he says, and order an attack on Israel despite the consequences.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who calls the nuclear agreement an historic mistake, wants to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities before a single bomb is built. He, and his American-Jewish supporters, have lobbied in Washington for several years for American support to an Israeli airstrike in Iran. Obama, and the majority of Americans, including American-Jews led by J Street, have supported diplomacy to prevent war.
My feeling is that MAD (Mutual Agreed Destruction) will work just as well with the terrorist state of Iran as it did with Communist Russia for decades. But the fact remains that Iran is a terrorist state of Shiites supporting their fellow Shiites in Damascus and Beirut. Lifting the Iranian sanctions will free over a $100 billion belonging to Iran which had been frozen in American banks. The leader of Hezbollah, which has been spending its money and its fighters to support the el-Asad government in Damascus, said recently that he expects a portion of Iranian money when it is free to flow his way.
Secretary of State Kerry has reiterated to interviewers that he has made a deal with Iran to stop the construction of the nuclear bomb. It does not deal with terror.
Iran’s terrorist activities are carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which has tentacles in many countries. They are responsible for the bombing of the Jewish community in Argentina many years ago. The IRGC is currently operating in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Syria. They are closely watched by the CIA and other American institutions.
America and the majority of American Jews rarely see eye to eye with Israeli politicians. Usually AIPAC and other mainstream Jewish organizations support the Israeli government, while the majority of American Jews are opposed to it. This time is no exception. Polls show that 59% of American Jews support the nuclear agreement. J Street is the only important organization that is supporting the agreement.
In the end, it will turn out that the nuclear agreement was a wonderful achievement by the Obama administration that improved the security of Israel, the United States, and the entire world.