For Israel, the agreement between Iran and the superpowers, which came into force this week, requires two immediate steps: On the one hand, make a special effort to collect intelligence that proves that Iran is deceiving the world and continues to strive for a nuclear bomb, and at the same time make the preparations for the possibility that Israel would have to eventually attacking itself in Iran, to thwart the nuclear program.
It is important to remember in this context that the ratified agreement was signed in Geneva this week despite strong opposition from Israel. Almost to the last minute, Israeli teams (mainly headed by the Head of National Security Council, Yossi Cohen) tried to convince the Americans and the representatives of the other powers that the agreement is a historic mistake.
The reality perception of the policy makers and Israeli intelligence is that the chance that Iran would actually give up its nuclear program is negligible, and the agreement is just a scam designed to ease the sanctions on Iran, while they continue to develop their first bomb far from the eyes of IAEA inspectors.
After the signing of the agreement of principles with Iran over a month ago, there were disagreements about the interpretation of some clauses in the agreement, and foremost the question of whether Iran is allowed to continue to develop centrifuges to enrich uranium that could be used also for military purposes (and not only for electricity generating, as was permitted to Iran de-facto). The Israeli interpretation was that Iran must not produce even a single new centrifuge, except substitute for those who will break.
The Iranians were quick to announce they will continue to develop a new generation of centrifuges, to enrich uranium more efficiently and faster. As expected, the West more or less folded at this point, in the Interim Agreement came into force this week. Estimates made by the Israeli government, according to which the United States will not attack Iran in 2014, are probably correct: Obama has proved that his preference for speaking over attacking is for him an ideology.
For Jerusalem as well, the existing political circumstances allow no viable political option for an attack, but the situation can change within months. If Israel manages to gather intelligence evidence that Iran continues to “work” on the atomic bomb, the Cabinet may convene dramatic meetings and order attack in the near summer or fall months. It is not scripted fiction.
In light of Israel’s unequivocal assessment that the agreement is fraudulent, the question arises: Is there nevertheless an actual chance that Iran will “freeze” its nuclear dream? Because after all, they are not entirely suckers, and they set quite a few mechanisms which will ensure close monitoring of the nuclear project. Also the belief that Syria will disarm from the chemical weapons in its possession was not promising, and yet it is happening these current days.