‘Rejigging Iran deal would be a tragic mistake’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters/Debbie Hill)
It will be huge mistake if the US takes Netanyahu’s proposal to “kill” the Iran nuclear deal seriously as the Iranians have made major concessions willing to end the confrontation with the West, James Petras from Binghamton University told RT.

The international deal on Iran's nuclear program has triggered fierce reaction from Israel, which insists the agreement is “bad” and “endangers” the region.

“I’m not trying to kill any deal. I’m trying to kill a bad deal,” Netanyahu told NBC.

Last week the Israeli leader demanded Tehran must “include a clear and unambiguous Iranian commitment of Israel's right to exist.”

US President Obama, whose relations with Netanyahu has been rather strained lately, particularly because of the two leaders’ differences on the Iran deal, fired back.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

"The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won't sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms," Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR). "That is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment... We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can't bank on the nature of the regime changing," he said.

RT:Many of the demands Israel is making appear to be already included in the deal. So how reasonable is the Israeli position?

READ MORE: Netanyahu urges US to ‘kill bad deal’ on Iran

James Petras: They are outrageous, they are not really demands – they are postures which essentially project an image that Israel would not oppose a settlement per se, but would pursue or support a settlement under certain conditions. But this is nonsense - the fact that Iran has agreed to reduce its centrifuges by 2/3; the fact that there are already in place pervasive inspections; all of this is conducive to asymmetrical settlement. Iran has made major concessions which is recognized by all of the word’s powers and has gotten in return a very tentative commitment for the reduction of sanctions over time. So what effectively Mr. Netanyahu is proposing is essentially directed toward pushing the US Congress and Senate into a confrontation with President Obama and through him an attempt to scuttle the whole settlement and precipitate a major confrontation in the Middle East. The question is how far Netanyahu’s proposal will fly, and I don’t think it will fly at all among the Europeans; I don’t think there will be any arms race or nuclear race in the Middle East. The Saudis are engaged in an invasion of Yemen at this time...

RT:Israel refuses to acknowledge whether or not it has a nuclear arsenal. Doesn't that make it difficult for the country to insist on full disclosure from Iran?

JP: The Israelis are counting on their lobby in the US to carry the day, not the reasonableness of their proposal. I think this is a signal to their organized groups in the US, their sympathizers in the government - particularly someone like Wendy Sherman who is very close to Netanyahu and the Israelis - to simply propose to the Obama government that we reconsider some of these issues in line of Netanyahu’s proposal. This would be a tragic mistake - to take serious Netanyahu’s proposal is to go back on the agreement right now. I think any serious observer is very well aware of this at this point. You cannot rejig this agreement - the Iranians have made major concessions. We’re heading toward an end of the confrontation.


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