Tag Archives: Israel

My comments on the #Iran nuclear deal for the FPA

23 Jul

Two days ago, The Foreign Press Association in Israel (FPA) invited Dr Dore Gold, the Director General of the Israel Foreign Ministry and the former head of the Conservative kham-netanThink Tank JCPA to present the Israeli government’s position on Iran and the nuclear talks.

The FPA then gave me the floor to comment on the official Israeli government’s position, as presented by Dr Gold.

The summary of both of our comments was published in this report by the Jerusalem Post.

Just one correction: where it says “Iran’s ethnic cleansing of Sunnis ” is wrong. I stated “Iran regime Shiite allies ethnic cleansing of Sunnis”

Here is a summary of my points.

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian- born analyst who now lives in Tel Aviv and lectures at the IDC Herzliya, took issue with some of Gold’s statements Because Iran is obliged to allow inspection of undeclared sites, it cannot hide nuclear activity, he insisted.

“Nuclear material is extremely difficult to remove from air, land, or water,” he said, and therefore no matter what Iran might do, it would not succeed in hiding its nuclear operations.

The deal is not about trusting the Iranian regime, he insisted. “When it’s not in their interests they don’t keep deals. When it is in their interests they keep deals that others would throw away. Nobody trusts the Iranian regime, but you have to look at their political eco system. It’s not a question about trust. It’s a question about mistrust and verification.”

Javedanfar also made the point that if the Iranians had wanted to make a nuclear weapon, they would have done so before the agreement.

He suggested that what the West does not understand is that “in Iran there is a regime and there is a government, and we have to make that distinction.”

President Hassan Rouhani does not make any decisions without the instructions or approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Javedanfar, who remarked that Khamenei is now distancing himself from Rouhani and letting him take the blame for anything that looks like compromise on Iran’s part in the agreement.

“If you want a moderate Iran, you have to worry about Rouhani,” he said.

Javedanfar left room for hope by saying that “Iran’s image in the region is starting to nosedive.” Iran’s ethnic cleansing of Sunnis is impacting on the region and is contributing to a strong anti-Iran coalition, said Javedanfar.

Talking peace with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would make Israel’s position more acceptable in the region, he added.

As an Iranian who knows the language and the mentality of his former fellow countrymen, Javedanfar was adamant that “the Iranian regime is not an existential threat to Israel. It is a strategic threat.”

In case you were wondering why some in #Israel are suspicious of the #Iran regime

10 Jul
ahmad khatami

From today’s Quds day Friday prayers. Read what it says about Israel.

In case you were wondering why I belong to a tiny minority in Israel who backs nuclear negotiations with Iran, then read the sign in front of today’s Friday prayer leader in Tehran. It says in Persian and English “Israel must be wiped from the pages of time”.

Since the start of the Iranian revolution in 1979, Israelis have been told by the Iran regime their country is a cancer, a microbe and that it should be wiped out. It even said so on the walls on my Jewish school in Tehran. I had to see it every day.

From my observations as an Iranian – Israeli who lives in Israel, a small minority in Israel don’t want a deal with Iran regime because they want war. Majority of those who don’t want a deal with Iran don’t want war, but at the same time find it difficult to trust a regime that has financed the killing of many of their compatriots, and has been calling for the elimination of their country, which is their home.

I believe that a diplomatic solution will serve the interests of the state of Israel as it will increase inspections and will distance the Iranian regime from a nuclear weapon in a peaceful manner. I also think it will reduce an important threat to Israel. I think its unlikely that the Iranian regime would break such a deal, if there is going to be one. Why agree to increased inspections on your soil if you want to “sneak out” to make a nuclear weapon?

That said, I understand the logic of those in Israel who do not trust the Iranian regime. I don’t agree with them, but I understand their suspicion.

No regime has the right to call for the elimination of another country, time after time after time, for 36 years. And for what? The Iranian regime says its calling for the elimination of the state Israel because it wants to defend the rights of the people of Palestine. Well, the people of Palestine have not given a mandate to the Iranian regime to do that. Majority of them don’t even like the Iranian regime. According to the latest survey by Pew research, 57% of Palestinians have a negative view towards the regime in Tehran.

Yes to peace with the people of Palestine. Yes to diplomacy. No to threats of elimination by a regime which says it’s the defender of Muslims, yet it finances and helps the Assad regime which has gassed and killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Syria.

Watch: former head of #Israel Mossad condemned publicly for not attacking #Iran

8 Jun

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan

In 2010, Prime Minister Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israel Defense Forces to increase their level of preparedness, in order to entice Iran to attack Israel. They were hoping to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in retaliation.

The former head of the Mossad Meir Dagan and the former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi refused this order. Why were they not imprisoned? because Netanyahu and Barak were acting illegally. They had issued the order, without consulting the security cabinet. This is a decision to be made by the security cabinet and not just the Prime Minister and Defence Minister. Thats why. Otherwise the head of Israel armed forces have no right to refuse the order of the Israeli public’s democratically elected representatives. If they do so, they would be breaking the law.

At this year’s Jerusalem Post conference, Caroline Glick, the hard-line conservative editor of the Jerusalem Post attacked Dagan and Ashkenazi for not attacking Iran, and for not listening to Netanyahu’s illegal orders. And she was applauded by the participants!

Watch her remarks and Meir Dagan’s reaction. #Classic. This is the same conference in which Obama’s Secretary of Treasury was booed.

And now Yinon Magal, a member of the extremist Bayit Yehudi party wants Dagan and Ashkenazi to be subpoenad for having refused Netanyahu’s (illegal) order. Good luck with that! The law in Israel is on their side.

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

27 Mar
Benjamin_Netanyahu_portrait

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.

Former Mossad chief stated Netanyahu behavior could be interpreted by U.S as spying

24 Mar

A new row has broken out between the Netanyahu and Obama administrations.

Former head of the Mossad Meir Dagan. Source

According to the Guardian:

The US has accused Israel of spying on international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Meanwhile according to the Wall Street Journal which first broke this story, its not just the alleged spying thats really upsetting the Obama administration:

“It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the matter.

This new story reminded me of a quote which I read, by Meir Dagan the former chief of the Mossad.

In an interview with the Yediot Ahronot newspaper on the 27th of February he stated:

“What message does it send when our prime minister says that we don’t need information from the talks and that we have our own sources? Is he implying that we are spying on the United States?”

What this statement possibly tells us is that there were already concerns in Israel that Netanyahu’s statements alone, for whatever reason, could make the Americans think that Israel was spying on them.

The fact that this concern was aired in Israel 3 weeks before the Obama administration made the accusations is certainly noteworthy.

These are just assumptions. But what is not an assumption is that every week many of us think Israel – US government relations can’t get any worst, and every week reality proves us wrong.

This has got to stop.

#Iran wants Netanyahu to win #Israel elections

14 Mar

On Tuesday 17th of March we will be holding elections here in Israel. kham-netan

One of the questions is: who would the leaders of Iran want to see as the winner?

I have always believed that Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei would very much like Netanyahu to win these elections. One of the main reasons (as I mentioned in this tweet in Hebrew last night) is that Iran would love to see the continuation of the current crisis between the governments of Israel and United States. This is a strategic win for Iran.

Today, Sadegh Ghorbani, a reporter based in Tehran tweeted who he believes Iranians would like to see as the winner of the upcoming Israeli elections, and why.

On #Iran: why I don’t agree with Netanyahu

26 Feb

I don’t want the current rulers of Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Not for a second. Not even for a Benjamin_Netanyahu_portraitnanosecond. Never. No, no, no, no, a thousand times NO to a nuclear armed Islamic Republic of Iran.

But at the same time, I don’t agree with the way Netanyahu has been managing the Iran question on behalf of Israel and Israelis. I know he is doing his job, but his method is causing damage to the credibility of Israel’s legitimate concerns regarding why it does not want the current rulers of Iran to have a nuclear weapon.

In my recent interview with SKY news, I have explained why.

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