By Sir Richard Dalton, Former Ambassador to Iran
Israel’s safety lies in its own hands. It is the strongest military power in the region, able to deter Iran.
Israeli strategic advantage will increase, given that the arms embargo on Iran is set to continue for a further five years.
Iran ceased its research and development on nuclear weapons in 2003. This will now be clarified as the International Atomic Energy Agency works with Iran under the Vienna deal.
But as Obama said, the deal is not built on trust that Iran will adhere to its commitment never to have nuclear weapons, but on intrusive verification to which Iran consents.
But advocates of the deal must answer two questions: were there better options and does this agreement give sufficient assurance that it can and will be implemented to achieve its objective – purely peaceful use of nuclear technology in Iran in perpetuity?
An attack against Iran, aimed at its nuclear sites, would have guaranteed that Iran would have left the non-proliferation treaty and developed nuclear weapons covertly.
Even greater economic sanctions would not have coerced Iran into abandoning its facilities and civil nuclear ambitions. Depriving Iranians of enrichment was a non-starter.
Failed negotiations, torpedoed by excessive demands from both sides, would’ve left Iran in the driving seat, free to do what it wanted, wherever it wanted.
There was no better option. The strength of the agreement lies not just in its comprehensive nature and on verification but on the strong incentives for Iran to keep its word.
Monitoring to the highest standard will continue after the limits on enrichment have come to an end.
It is an agreement built to be effective and to last.
Bringing the Vienna deal into effect is right for Israel.