The nine-point package of US benefits delivered to the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week to mollify him for the interim nuclear accord signed with Iran Sunday, Nov, 24, was greeted with shrugs.
Netanyahu understood what was behind it. President Barack Obama wanted to put an end to his fierce verbal assaults and draw his government back into normal cooperation with Washington, in readiness for the resumption of US-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians, for which Secretary of State John Kerry arrives next week.
In the White House, DEBKA Weekly’s Washington sources this week picked up the following counter-attack on the Israeli prime minister: He complains that the Geneva deal recognized Iran as a pre- nuclear state, they say. But Iran reached that point more a year ago, so why didn’t Israel strike its nuclear program then or even earlier in 2011? All the administration did in Geneva was to freeze the current situation, for which Israel is just as responsible as America.
This argument is as hypocritical as it is misleading, because it blames Israel for trusting Obama’s promises instead of pushing back harder, or else following through on its threatened military option on the assumption that the Obama administration would have provided full backing. But would it?
For now, Washington is treating Iran’s near-nuclear bomb capacity as an accomplished fact and demands Jerusalem’s continued cooperation in addressing it.
DEBKA Weekly has obtained the nine-point US package on offer to the Netanyahu government for its cooperation:
1. If Iran is still dragging its feet on a final deal in a year’s time – a period amply covered by the six-month negotiating period to which Tehran committed in Geneva – then the Obama administration would turn relations with Tehran back to the situation prior to the Geneva accord.
Israeli officials don’t quite understand this point, considering that Obama’s dialogue with Tehran did not start in Geneva but ran on secret channels for years before that.
2. All US intelligence resources will be pressed into service to ensure that Iran’s nuclear weapons program remains frozen where it is now.
3. If Iran is discovered reneging on its pledge to convert its 20-percent enriched Iranian stocks to oxide powder and reconverts them back to their highly-enriched state, Washington will deem Tehran in violation of its commitment under the interim nuclear accord.
4. The US will upgrade Israel’s military capabilities, including its air force (as first revealed exclusively by debkafile on Nov. 26).
US intelligence will track watchdog findings
5. The administration will no longer interfere in congressional initiatives to enact tougher sanctions against Iran, provided new legislation takes effect only if US nuclear diplomacy with Iran fails.
6. US intelligence experts will receive footage from the cameras the International Atomic Energy Agency has installed at nuclear facilities and examine them daily, simultaneously with the watchdog.
7. The same access will apply to the film from the centrifuge production chambers.
8. The US will place a cap on the grade of uranium enrichment permitted under the final comprehensive accord and promises Israel it will be less than 20 percent.
9. The two sets of incentives the US is submitting to Israel and Saudi Arabia will be considered a single, comprehensive package.
The Netanyahu government is still examining these points to determine how far they go toward partly offsetting the substantial gains made by Iran toward a nuclear weapon capacity, which the Geneva accord freezes in place – at best.