Israel Cannot Accept the Emerging Accord between the U.S. and Iran – Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaacov Amidror
(dailyalert.org, Apr. 24, 2014)
An accord between the P5+1 and Iran that would allow Iran to maintain a full nuclear fuel cycle is unacceptable to Israel. None of the assumptions behind the emerging accord are sound: Neither the assumption that a monitoring regime could guarantee identification in real time of Iranian violations; nor the assumption that the U.S. would act with alacrity if a breach is identified; nor the assumption that in the real world Iran will truly be deterred by U.S. threats. An agreement along these lines would be far worse than no agreement, and could force Israel to respond independently.
The writer is a former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel and chairman of the National Security Council. (Jerusalem Post)
Why Iran’s Missiles Matter – Ilan Berman
In the current debate over the Iranian bomb, the White House is staying quiet about its concerns over the regime’s progress on missile development. To curb the threat posed by Tehran’s atomic ambitions, any diplomatic deal will need not only to limit Iran’s capability to make nuclear weapons, but also its ability to deliver them. However, on April 16, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan publicly declared, “Iran’s missiles are not up for discussion under any circumstances.”
According to U.S. intelligence assessments, Iran is already the most formidable missile power in the Middle East. The mainstay of Iran’s arsenal is the Shahab-3, a medium-range missile unveiled publicly more than a decade ago. Today, the Shahab is estimated to be nuclear-capable and have a range of between 900 and 1,200 miles – putting all of Israel within striking distance. In addition, in 2005, Iran became the first space-faring nation in the Muslim world when it successfully launched a surveillance satellite into orbit from a missile base in Russia.
The same rocket booster used to place a payload into low-earth orbit can be married to a two-stage ballistic missile to create one of intercontinental range. Iran, in other words, is building the capability to become a global missile power with the capability to hold at risk Western Europe – and beyond.
Last year, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center assessed that Iran “could develop and test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States by 2015.” This means that ballistic missiles need to be part of any serious discussion about limiting Iran’s strategic capabilities. The writer is vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council. (Washington Times)