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3 Apr, 2015 12:17

‘Iran deal not cast in stone, there’s still a backup plan’

‘Iran deal not cast in stone, there’s still a backup plan’

There are issues – including ballistic missiles and Iran’s alleged involvement in supporting terrorism – that could be used by Israel and backed by the US congress as an excuse to scupper the nuclear deal before June, says defense consultant Moeen Raoof.

Israel has always been strongly opposed to any nuclear deal with Iran. At the same time, Israel – which has so far refused to sign the non-proliferation treaty - is suspected of having a stockpile of 80 nuclear warheads. There is also Saudi Arabia that is seeking a way to sabotage the nuclear deal, as well.

RT:Israel allegedly possesses a large stockpile of nuclear weapons. Why is it so interested in what Iran is doing?

Moeen Raoof: Israel wants to be the only power in the Middle East because it is moving more Palestinians out of Gaza and the West Bank, and it wants to dominate the whole area. If there are any other nuclear powers in the area then Israel has competition. And it doesn’t want any competition at all.

Political analyst Seyed Mohammad Marandi on Iran nuclear deal: “[Iranian] Foreign Minister [Dr. Mohammad Javad] Zarif upon returning to Tehran at the airport said that … the sanctions will be removed immediately and completely, whereas the US is claiming through the factsheet that it published on the State Department website, and as American officials have also said, that the sanctions will be removed partially, and also after a period of time, and in phases, that some sanctions that are supposedly for Iran’s support for terrorism, or what the US calls human rights violations, these will remain in place.”

Officials wait for a meeting with officials from P5+1, the European Union and Iran at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne March 31, 2015. (Reuters/Brendan Smialowski)

RT:How is Israel, in particular its Prime Minister Netanyahu, going to respond to the breakthrough in the talks with Iran?

MR: It hasn’t responded kindly at all. I think there is a case of ‘good cop/bad cop’ where the Americans in the past 10 to 15 years have always had this policy of having a ‘bad cop’ who is against whatever agreements they come up with. And this is the role that Israel is playing; and also the [US] Congress is playing that role. As we know they’ve said that the agreement could be reversed when the next president comes in. It is a simple case of having a backup plan, if you like.

RT:The relationship between Washington and Teheran looks rosier than it looked a few years ago? How is Israel going to react to this deal, which it has already expressed much opposition to?

READ MORE: Obama: Historic deal reached on Iran nuclear program.

MR: The agreement reached today isn’t cast in stone. It remains to be seen that by June unless somebody - especially Israel - doesn’t come with another reason… for example, they’ve been blaming Iran for the terrorism in the region, especially in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen now. There is always something that could go wrong between now and then. It is not a sure thing that this agreement will stand in three months’ time, which means that Israel again could come up with an accusation. We know it has always over the last ten years consistently accused Iran of being 90 days away from building a nuclear weapon. So they could accuse Iran of hiding nuclear material and scupper the plan completely.

Political analyst Seyed Mohammad Marandi on Iran nuclear deal: “The US is already breaking the agreement that it has just signed. We had the same problem last year when the joint plan of action was signed between Iran and P5+1. Subsequently the US repeatedly added new people to the sanctions regime, and also new companies to the sanctions regime every couple of months which Iranians said was a violation of the agreement.”

RT:In a speech at the UN General Assembly three years ago, Israel's Prime Minister used a memorable cartoon bomb to hammer home his country's fears of a nuclear armed Tehran. A lot has changed since then – a new leader Rouhani made Iran change its tone and Washington started dialogue. Do you think Israel really will try to scupper this deal at this stage?

MR: Definitely, I guarantee it. What is happening is [what] President Obama today said himself that there is also the ballistic missiles issue and also the alleged terrorism involvement of Iran in the region. These are backup issues that they could invoke between now and June. And I’m sure that Israel will come up with some excuse why this plan can’t go through. And Congress would back [it].

RT:Will they be successful and will people see through these games, these attempts to scupper this deal?

MR: People have been seeing these false accusations for the past 10 years. They haven’t stopped the Americans or Israelis from ensuring the sanctions continue to be imposed against a nation that has said clearly that they would never build a nuclear weapon or threatened any other nation on this Earth. It is a simple case of what is best for “Israel and friends”.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.