May 2, 2018
- Revelations over the last ten years have left little doubt that Tehran was seeking a nuclear weapon, no matter what its spokesmen claimed. But the revelations put forward by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on April 30 came from original official documents with the stamp of the Iranian regime.
- It can now be stated without any qualification that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. The whole Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA), consequently, had been negotiated under false pretenses.
- During the talks on the Iran deal, Iranian negotiators falsely assured the West that Iran did not seek a nuclear arsenal because there was a fatwa, an Islamic legal ruling, forbidding the development of atomic weapons that had been issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry spoke about the Iranian fatwa. Now this has been shown to be plainly false.
- There is a huge difference in holding negotiations with a state like Iran if you assume it has no intention of building nuclear weapons versus a situation in which you have incontrovertible evidence that Iran is determined to become a nuclear power. The substance of an agreement will be very different.
- While there is some debate over what clauses Iran violated in the JCPOA, a very strong case can be made to the effect that, given the Israeli revelation, Iran unquestionably violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970.
- A different approach is needed. In the nuclear realm, the verification regime must look very different for a state which has had an unquestionable goal of arming itself with nuclear weapons and delivery systems for them.
- For this reason, the JCPOA must be completely revamped or scrapped. This is not a case of “trust but verify,” the adage used by President Ronald Reagan. It is a case of don’t trust and verify with the most intrusive means you have.
Amb. Dore Gold, former director general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center.