Tag Archives: iranian nuclear program

i24 interview: some in #Israel military intelligence have positive view of #Iran deal

11 Aug 250px-Ha'man

Yesterday Amir Oren published a piece in Haaretz about the Iran deal and the view of some of Iran analysts working for the Israeli military intelligence. Among other things, in the article he states:

“There are those in the Intelligence Corps, including those in the research division dealing with ‪‎Iran‬, who have a very positive view of the nuclear agreement. “

Last night I was interviewed alongside Amir for the i24 news program, where Amir discussed his article in more details. He also mentioned an unprecedented intelligence sharing offer being made by the U.S which would give Israel access to raw intelligence material which no one else except the US would have. Netanyahu has not accepted this offer.

And how some in the military intelligence community are very concerned about the damage being caused to the Israel – US relations.

You can watch interview here:

A lively debate re: #Iran nuclear deal

9 Jun

RT CrossTalk recently hosted a lively debate on the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran based Professor Mohammad Marandi was in his full propagandist mode. He is however worth listening to. He is one of the most famous thinkers which the regime has.

The other two guests gave their two cents. The former CIA guest was unreasonable in many of the things he said. The lady in London had the most salient points.

A lively debate worth watching.

ICYMI: Netanyahu reverses #Israel stance re: #Iran enrichment

27 Mar

A positive move by the Prime Minister which is likely to strengthen Israel’s position.

Israel’s policy has always been that Iran must not be allowed to retain any enrichment capacity. Zero enrichment, zero centrifuges.

In fact this was one of the linchpins of Netanyahu’s speech before the Congress. One of the main reasons why he lambasted the negotiations was because they would allow Iran to have limited enrichment capacity on its soil.

However, two days after his election as Prime Minister, in an interview with MSNBC, Netanyahu suddenly changed course.

According to the JTA, quoting the MSNBC interview:

In the MSNBC interview, however, he made a significant concession, saying Israel could tolerate a limited uranium enrichment capacity for Iran, although with a number lower than the 6,500 reported to be part of an emerging deal.

“A smaller number is something Israel and its Arab neighbors wouldn’t love but could live with,” he said.

By the look of things, not only Netanyahu’s Congress speech failed to convince any Congressmen to change their mind regarding the Iran deal, but as it turns out the only person who seems to have changed their stance towards the Iran negotiations since then is Prime Minister Netanyahu himself.

Welcome to the world of Realpolitik Mr Netanyahu. No one wants the Iranian regime to have nuclear weapons. But your zero enrichment demand was so unrealistic that it hurt  Israel’s credibility.

And no, limited enrichment capacity under tough inspections will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons as soon as it chooses. Robert Einhorn, one of the world’s foremost experts in this subject explains succinctly why in this op-ed.

For for the record, your truly and Brigadier General Shlomo Brom were the first Israeli specialists of this topic to have the guts to go on the record as far back as in October 2012 to state that Israel could live with limited enrichment on Iranian soil. This was not an easy statement for two Israelis to make as back then Ahmadinejad was still in office and we  were still being subjected to his vicious anti-Israel rhetoric.

Dear PM Netanyahu: I may want my money back

3 Mar

Prime Minister Netanyahu just finished his speech at the Congress. Benjamin_Netanyahu_portrait

As I have stated before I respect and support his right to speak anywhere he wishes, but at a reasonable cost. His decision to sideline the President of the US so he can speak at the Congress could be too costly and detrimental to the interests of U.S – Israel relations.

Now that he has spoken, I have the following questions to ask:

1 – How many Congressmen/women did Netanyahu convince with his speech? 10, 20, 50?

This is an important question to ask, as the state of Israel has just taken a great risk by side lining President of America, for the sake of this speech. The goal was to convince Congressmen/women to vote against a deal with Iran. So did Netanyahu achieve this goal? How many Congressmen/women did he convince?

2 – What if Khamenei says no to a deal?

We have to remember that Netanyahu took the great risk of alienating the President of the United States for the sake of his speech, before Khamenei has even accepted the current deal. What if after all this, Khamenei says no to a deal? That he did not want a deal after all?

I agree with Netanyahu that Iran should stop calling for the annihilation of the state of Israel. Its repulsive and highly offensive to the citizens of this country.

The citizens of Israel deserve an answer for Question 1. Additionally, if Iran leader Khamenei ultimately says no to a deal, then as an Israeli tax payer, I will want my money back. Millions of Shekels would have been spent on this trip for nothing.

#Iran: Rouhani’s most interesting speech to date

4 Jan

Hassan Rouhani


Most importantly because in his speech today, President Rouhani asked for or as the Financial Times put it, “threatened” to hold a referendum in Iran.

The Iranian president stated that Iran’s constitution allows such referendums for important issues such as economic, political, cultural and social related matters. Although he didn’t specifically say for which issue he wants a referendum, I think its safe to assume that he was talking about the nuclear program. This is right now the most important decision for the nezam or the system of the Islamic Republic to make.

So why would Rouhani call for a referendum?

Most probably because he is confident that the people would back his nuclear strategy, which is assumed to be more flexible than that of the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the hardliners around him.

Why propose a referendum now?

Here we are looking at two possibilities:

1 –  Rouhani is engaged in a behind the scenes tug of war with the hardliners regarding nuclear talks, and he believes that in a referendum the people would back him, thus tipping the balance in his favor.

2- give Ayatollah Khamenei a ladder to climb down from his current nuclear position. When it comes to face-saving, a referendum would provide the perfect excuse for the supreme leader. Ayatollah Khamenei could say that he didn’t want to compromise with the Americans, but as the people demanded otherwise, he had no other choice but to listen, “as he has always done” or so he could claim.

In the same speech today Rouhani also attacked monopolistic powers in Iran (in other words the Revolutionary Guards).

What next? – short-term

The Revolutionary Guards and the hardliners are not going to sit still. Rouhani should expect retaliation from them, perhaps in the parliamenet. They could dismiss yet another one of his minister.

What next? – long-term

Difficult to say. But if Rouhani feels confident enough to challenge the IRGC and the hardliners to a referendum, then it seems he is not as passive as some believed he was going to be (regarding the nuclear program). It also seems that the people could live with what the hardliners call “a bad deal”.

Why would #Iran agree to ship its enriched uranium to #Russia?

3 Jan

Tonight it was revealed that:

Iran and the United States have tentatively agreed on a formula that Washington hopes will reduce Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms by committing it to ship to Russia much of the material needed for such weapons, diplomats say.

The mentioned “material” is enriched uranium, produced by Iran.

This will mean that should there be a final nuclear accord with Iran, majority of its enriched uranium would be shipped to Russia. Consequently there will not be any sufficient amount of enriched uranium at one time in Iran which would enable it to make a nuclear weapon, if and when it decides to do so.

The other reason is that Iran needs to convert its enriched uranium to fuel for its Russian made nuclear reactors.

Why would Iran agree to take such a step?

One reason could be to allay fears that it wants to make nuclear weapons.

But another important reason is because Russian reactors in most cases only take Russian made nuclear fuel. Thats how they are designed. In fact using non Russian fuel for Russian made reactors could:

“trigger a nuclear accident”.

The Russians gave this warning to the Ukrainians after the latter reached a deal to buy US made nuclear fuel for its Soviet era nuclear reactors.

So this is something Iran would have had to do anyway. But the argument could also be made that allaying western fears regarding a bomb is a major part of Iran’s motivation, because if Iran didn’t want to allay such fears, it could have agreed to ship out the enriched uranium in smaller batches to Russia. This would have given Iran the option to have enough enriched uranium on its soil to make a weapon, if and when it decided to do so. In fact this is one of the reasons why the US and Russia rejected the 2010 Turkey – Brazil brokered deal for Iran’s nuclear program.

The news tonight is one small step forward. Lets not get too excited. There have been too many false starts. Its not over until Kerry and Zarif sing.

Iranians, Israelis could live with ‘bad’ nuclear deal

14 Oct kham-netan

The Israeli and Iranian publics can live with what their leaders each consider a “bad” nuclear deal.

My latest article explains:



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