Thursday, Nov. 14, Israel sent the White House in Washington a confidential document outlining blow by blow how and when Iran will attain a nuclear weapon if the Obama-Kerry strategy for dealing with the issue goes through. The document was addressed to the National Security Council headed by Susan Rice, debkafile reports. Communications between the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem and the State Department have almost petered out since exchanges between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry sharpened in tone.
Our Washington sources report that Rice and the NSC have taken a critical stand against the State Department’s policies – not just on the Iranian nuclear question, but also on Saudi Arabia, the Arabian Gulf and Egypt. However, the Israeli document does not take issue directly with Obama administration policies per se. It confines itself to a dry account, step by step, of how the Iranian nuclear bomb program will continue to unfold if the administration’s secret proposition is accepted.
Much of the document’s content is highly technical for the perusal of US experts. It concludes that by putting Iran’s nuclear program on hold for six months, as the administration claims, US diplomatic strategy will shorten its path to a bomb or warhead.
The Israeli document also sought to rebut Kerry’s argument that Netanyahu has been attacking the US proposal without knowing its content.
Washington and Tehran continue to use their back channels of communication to bypass their five fellow world powers before they meet in Geneva for the next round of negotiations with Iran on Nov. 20.
The root of the disagreement between the Obama administration and Netanyahu was illustrated in the exchanges around the visit the nuclear watchdog (IAEA) Director Yukiya Amano paid to Tehran Monday, Nov. 15.
Amano commented to reporters after the visit that he had seen no changes in Iran’s nuclear program in the three months since Hassan Rouhani became president – an indirect dig at the White House insistence that the election of a moderate Iranian president opened the door to a diplomatic solution of the nuclear controversy with Iran. Amano added that 20 percent enrichment of uranium continued.
Both these comments flew in the face of official Washington’s presentation of the state of Iran’s nuclear program. And indeed, 12 hours later, responding to US pressure, “IAEA sources” countered Amano’s comments by stating that Iran had stopped installing the new IR2 centrifuges, proving that enrichment had slowed.
Wednesday, debkafile’s exclusive sources, after checking these statements, found that Iran had been racing ahead without pause in the manufacture of the new centrifuges and installating them at the enrichment plants, but had not so far activated them.
However, they stood ready to be switched on at any moment.
This is the nub of the disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem. Obama and Kerry welcome this situation as a “freeze” for which they are offering a loosening of the sanctions stranglehold on the Iranian economy, if it is extended to other key parts of nuclear program.
Netanyahu sees it as a lease of life for a dangerous process.
The document he has presented to the NSC shows in detail how the US proposal spurred the Iranians into rushing forward the work for finishing all the working parts of their nuclear weapons program and making them ready to go into full operation at a moment’s notice, including enrichment and centrifuge production, as soon as sanctions are eased.
The American proposal, says Israel, has therefore shortened Iran’s road to breakout for a nuclear weapon.