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Israel Extorting US over Iran Deal

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri
Faculty Member, University of Tehran

Less than three weeks from now, Iran and the six world powers are expected to achieve a comprehensive deal over Tehran’s nuclear program. A poll conducted among American Jews shows that about 60 percent of them are supporting a nuclear deal with Iran. In Israel, however, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that such a deal would be among the worst mistakes made by the Western countries with regard to Iran because it would not prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. Netanyahu has also alleged that he has talked to Arab neighbors of Iran and all of them share his view about the risks of a nuclear agreement with Iran. Under these conditions, it seems that on the verge of a possible deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, Israel is doing its best to link that deal to the interests and security of Tel Aviv. To do this, Israel has been following two major approaches:

1. Bolstering Israel’s military strength: Arab states of the Persian Gulf recently took part in a meeting with the US President Barack Obama in Camp David, Washington, urging the United States to speed up supply of arms to countries located on the southern rim of the Persian Gulf and also called for further strengthening of security and defense ties with the United States. Similar to those Arab states, Israel has been in a hurry to take new concessions from the United States for the period following a possible nuclear deal with Iran. Given the influence that the pro-Israeli lobby sways in the United States and the serious need of various presidents of the United States to the votes of the powerful American Jewish diaspora, Israeli officials are sure that they can convince the US government to boost its military aid to this regime. In doing so, Israel has urged Washington to make a considerable increase in its annual military aid to Tel Aviv by increasing that aid from USD 3.1 billion a year to USD 4 billion per annum. Of course, this figure is apart from special US assistance to Israel for the development and upgrading of its Iron Dome missile defense system, David's Sling Missile System, and Arrow 3 missile system, which have been developed by the US specialists and are capable of destroying missiles launched by Israel’s enemies. It should be noted that the US Senate has recently allotted USD 225 million to upgrading Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. However, the Israel Defense Ministry has prepared a plan known as the “compensation components” which includes a long list of articles that Israel expects to be given by the United States following a possible nuclear deal with Iran and also following arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf. This list includes weapons agreements similar to those Washington has already signed with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, in addition to the supply of weapons that the United States has not already provided Israel.

2. Drawing Arabs into Israel’s side and forming an Arab-Israeli front against Iran: Since the beginning of Israel in 1948 up to the recent years, it has been constantly introduced as the enemy number one of Arab and Islamic countries and many wars have been waged between the two sides. This issue has created a sense of permanent insecurity in Israel and has made it do its ultimate to change these conditions. With the emergence of Iran's nuclear case and in the light of recent developments in the region, which led to unrest in such countries as Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Israel has found itself a good opportunity to deflect the orientation of the Arab-Islamic front toward a new target. In doing so, Tel Aviv has been trying to introduce Iran as the new enemy of that front by highlighting spurious “joint” concerns between Israel and the Arab states of the region.

This is why Netanyahu has made his recent remarks claiming that Arab neighbors of Iran share his view about the Iran theat. Of course, he has not mentioned any of those Arab countries by name and this issue can have many meanings. The first scenario is that his words are nothing but a political bluff and an empty claim aimed at encouraging Arab countries to boost their relations with Israel. The second possible reason for his remarks is that some Arab countries may have started negotiations with Israel behind the scenes. However, since the political cost of having relations with Israel is too high for them and their public opinion does not accept such relations, they are not willing for those relations to become public yet.

At any rate, both these scenarios show that forming a common Arab-Israeli front is not an easy task and cannot be realized in the near future. Under these circumstances, bolstering the military power of Israel and continuation of the US support for this regime is the least concession that the US administration can give Tel Aviv in order to appease its age-old ally and get it in line with a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

Key Words: Israel, US, Iran Nuclear Deal, American Jews, Arab Neighbors, Barack Obama, Security and Defense Ties, Compensation Components, Arab-Israeli Front, Mazaheri

Source: Iran Newspaper
http://iran-newspaper.com/
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

More By Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri:

*Iraq’s Lessons for Yemen: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iraq-s-Lessons-for-Yemen.htm

*Arab Countries Making U-Turn on Syria: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Arab-Countries-Making-U-Turn-on-Syria.htm

*A Framework for Persian Gulf Security: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/A_Framework_for_Persian_Gulf_Security.htm

*Photo Credit: Defence News

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