Journalist Ari Shavit is one of Israel’s most celebrated left-wing voices. He is celebrated in the United States as a voice for political change in Israel and an advocate for concessions to the Palestinians. His recent memoir, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, was fêted by the literary elite.
Yet Shavit is shocked by the Iran deal–what he calls a “horror story.” In a brilliant but grim op-ed in Israel’s left-wing Ha’aretz, Shavit does a better job than virtually anyone else in summarizing exactly what is wrong with the disastrous Iran deal.
First, Shavit notes the deal’s strengths: The deal
managed to get the Iranians to make a sweeping commitment not to develop and not to acquire nuclear weapons. More importantly, the team surprisingly succeeded in suspending the old Iranian nuclear program. The reactor in Arak, the enrichment facility in Natanz and the facility in Fordow will indeed stop threatening the world in the next decade. Reducing the number of centrifuges and the amount of enriched uranium and monitoring the known sites – these are all substantial achievements.
However, these do not outweigh the Iran deal’s weaknesses. First, it removes sanctions and does not provide adequate monitoring:
The Iranian negotiating team succeeded in destroying completely the sanctions mechanism that had been activated against Iran. It also managed to prevent real, effective supervision of secret, unknown nuclear sites….The chance of its getting caught is low and the chance of reactivating the sanctions is slim. So the decision of whether to race or not to race toward the bomb in a new secret track will be very much up to Iran.
Second, Shavit writes,
…the international community commits to upgrading Iran’s nuclear capacity, which it will activate in due course: …the international community is not only enabling, but actually ensuring the establishment of a new Iranian nuclear program, which will be immeasurably more powerful and dangerous than its predecessor. In fact the Iranians are giving up an outdated, anachronistic deployment in order to build an innovative legitimate one, with the world’s permission and authority. “The joint comprehensive plan of action” will lead to Iran becoming in 2025 a muscular nuclear tiger ready to spring forward, with an ability to produce dozens of nuclear bombs.
Essentially, Shavit says, the world gave in:
The fact is that in each chapter Iran’s dignity is preserved, but the U.S. and Europe’s isn’t. The fact is that the Iranian Islamic Consultative Assembly, or Majlis, has a much higher status in the agreement than the American Congress. The fact is that Iran is unrepentant, does not promise a change of course and takes an almost supercilious attitude toward the other parties. As though it had been a campaign between Iran and the West, and Iran won and is now dictating the surrender terms to the West.