Friends of Israel Initiative Dispatch
 

October 2017

 

It Is Time to Walk Away from the Bad Deal with Iran

Next October 15 is the deadline for the Trump Administration to certify or decertify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. President Trump has already stated that he will not find Iran to be in compliance with the nuclear deal; however, there are no signs of an ultimate decision about it yet. Meanwhile, time is running out and a smart policy on Iran is needed in the interest of the U.S., the Middle East, and the world.

 

The United States —alongside the Western world— is facing one of the worst challenges of this century: Iran’s nuclear ambitions. As we are witnessing now in the dangerous case of North Korea, threatening to start a nuclear war in Asia, Iran will probably become the next rogue state with nuclear bombs when the JCPOA expires —precisely because, in Barack Obama’s words, when the JCPOA’s term is over, “the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.” After that time, Iran will also be richer, stronger, and better equipped to pursue its drive for the regional domination of the Middle East, or to attack U.S. allies, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia; not to mention the upsurge of its malign activities.

 

Great policies prevent problems before tackling them, and the Trump Administration has the means to abrogate such bad and detrimental deal and implement new, efficient approaches.

 

In this regard, the Trump Administration has enough reasons to tear up the JCPOA.  During this time, Iran has not fully complied with its obligations under the JCPOA and under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which adopted the nuclear deal. Iran has not curved its nuclear ambitions, it has extended its influence and dominance across the Middle East, it has continued sponsoring terrorism —Iran is a State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1984— and has kept on violating the human rights of its own citizens.

 

Since the implementation of the JCPOA, Iran’s activities breaching the agreement have been constant: testing ballistic missiles, clandestinely looking for nuclear material—as  German intelligence reported in 2015 and 2016—, blocking the inspectors’ access to military sites, amassing more heavy water and centrifuges than the JCPOA allows, and harassing U.S. navy ships. These actions should have triggered the alarm bells. But, sheltered by the European Union signatory members of the JCPOA, Russia and China, who are not prepared to fix or repeal the nuclear deal, Iran is paving its way to building a bomb; an alarming fact about which we have been warning since the beginning of the nuclear negotiations.

 

At the end of the day, the hard and inescapable truth is that the JCPOA does not fulfill its main goal: to avoid having a nuclear Iran.

 

One classic mistake in monitoring Iran has been to decouple its nuclear and non-nuclear activities, as if they were not part of the same expansionist agenda. Nonetheless, non-nuclear activities such as the promotion of terrorism, its support for non-state actors such as Hezbollah —the A-Team of terrorist groups in the world, according to the U.S. Department of State— and Houthi rebels, or the repression of the internal political opposition are all branches of the same tree: the building of a Shia crescent, from Iran to Lebanon, via Iraq and Syria, including Yemen and Bahrein; a Tehran-led axis that will threaten Israel and the Sunni States with nuclear weapons and destabilizing forces. Non-nuclear activities are strongly related to the nuclear ones and, by themselves, justify the repeal of the JCPOA and the establishment of a more active and forceful policy on Iran.

 

As if all this was not enough, the regime has been openly belligerent: last January, in the so-called Quds Day, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” were massively chanted in the streets; an anti-Israel and anti-America rally orchestrated by Tehran to show the world that the regime did not renounce to its nature.

 

Under the current circumstances, there are many good options to choose from. In our special report “Walking Away from the Bad Deal with Iran: Why and How the US Administration Should Abandon the JCPOA.” (download here) high-level experts such as Ambassador John Bolton, Lee Smith or Emily Landau present plans and pathways to  put an end to the JCPOA and launch a new foreign policy on Iran.

 

After the irresponsible approach of the former American president, the current U.S. Administration has the opportunity to solve this problem and change the policy on Iran. The present situation is detrimental to global security and also to the security interests of the United States; now is the time to reverse it once and for all.

Israel-Latam: A Needed Relationship

On September 10, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began a historic three-day tour of Latin America. As the first sitting Israeli PM to make an official visit to the continent, Netanyahu was in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico, where he met with each head of State.

 

This trip has been applauded, especially by the business community in Israel —not surprisingly, Netanyahu was accompanied by 30 Israeli business leaders— since Latin America is a large market where the amount of Israeli products and services grow every year. In this regard, according to the latest figures, trade between Israel and Latin America reached 2.8 billion dollars in 2015. In the same way, Latin American investors have been interested in Israel, especially for the last ten years, as Israeli can offer a stable market and a global focus on technological innovation.

 

However, relations between Israel and Latin America can be much more fruitful and important, as the Friends of Israel Initiative has always promoted. Latin America is one of our strategic spots in order to improve Israel's image in the world and to promote it as the best ally to overcome all kinds of challenges, such as the fight against Islamic terrorism, the improvement of democracy and human rights, or technological solutions and innovative ways to make a better world.

 

For this reason, every year we have organized the “Visitors Program”, a trip to Israel for young political leaders from Latin America. Under this program, Latin-American leaders have been able to meet with Israeli counterparts to visit public and private Israeli institutions to grasp the reality on the ground, and to carry out workshops and activities on innovation, security, diplomacy, and terrorism. Thanks to this successful program, the Friends of Israel Initiative has established a large high-level network in Latin America, a growing number of prominent people that have understood and supported the strengthening of ties between Israel and Latin America.

 

Although Netanyahu's visit was short, the Friends of Israel Initiative is proud that Israel and Latin America have officially strengthened ties. This bilateral relationship will only yield benefits.

Special Report

 

 Walking Away from the Bad Deal with Iran: Why and How the US Administration Should Abandon the JCPOA

 

The nuclear deal with Iran, signed in 2015, has been a complete disaster since it has not accomplished its goals. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has compounded the problem rather than solving it. Within ten years, Iran will have free hands to make nuclear bombs.

 

The Trump Administration, which has the possibility to repeal the agreement and re-impose sanctions on Iran, has several options at hand to put an end to this problem and to build an efficient policy on Iran that guarantees the stability of the Middle East and quells its expansionist agenda. The report, penned by high-level experts on the matter, presents several options to reverse this situation. The plan and options offered by Ambassador John Bolton, Lee Smith, and Emily Landau will shed light on what to do with Iran and its nuclear program.

 

The Friends of Israel Initiative believes that now is the time to end the JCPOA.

 

(DOWNLOAD PDF)

Op-eds and Media

 

 What Europe Can Learn from Israel in Its War against Vehicle Attacks and Lone Wolf Terror by Colonel Richard Kemp and Arsen Ostrovsky, Internatonal Business Times, August 21 (Read)

 

How to Get Out of the Iran Nuclear Deal by Ambassador John Bolton, National Review, August 28 (Read)

 

Iran Deal Devotees Try in Vain to Save a Sinking Ship by Ambassador John Bolton, The Hill, September 11 (Read)

 

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Dispatch nº 40. Year 7. October 2017. © Friends of Israel Initiative,

 

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