Why Netanyahu Is So Enraged by a Deal with Iran

Secretary of State John Kerry’s last minute decision to make a surprise visit to Geneva, Switzerland, where negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran are rapidly progressing, led to an enormous amount of speculation that a first-step deal was imminent and may even be signed today.

Details of the first-phase deal are limited and speculative, but the broad contours are that Iran would halt its enrichment program (whatever that means) for 6 months in exchange for “very limited” and “reversible” sanctions relief. During that 6 months, a more comprehensive grand bargain would be hashed out, which would probably include Iran making the following concessions in return for greater sanctions relief: halting all production of 20% enriched uranium; converting much of its stockpile to fuel rods; and much greater access for international inspections.

To Iran hawks, that should sound like a damn good deal. Under those conditions of less enrichment and greater transparency, the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon would be transparently unfeasible.

Why, then, have the Iran hawks responded with outrage? Not only is Congress responding to this good news by ratcheting up additional sanctions in a clear attempt to derail negotiations and set us back on the war path, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nearly hyperventilated with fury over the diplomatic progress.

So a deal that would further handicap Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons and enhance the international community’s ability to confirm through inspections that there is no diversion of enriched material to some covert program is “a bad deal” that would bury “the possibility of having a peaceful resolution”? What?

If you see this as irrational, you’re not alone. Here’s the Foreign Minister of Sweden tweeting about Bibi’s outburst:

Israel and hawks in Congress are upset because they believe anything less than total capitulation from Iran, total dismantling of their entire domestic enrichment program, is unacceptable. But Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser, reveals the actual reason this deal (any deal) with Iran enrages Netanyahu:

I can understand why Netanyahu is so furious. A unilateral military option would have no real chance now. Not because we can’t do it, but because it would be seen as moving against the whole international community. That is something Israel cannot afford.

Any deal with Iran, no matter how lopsided and favorable to the Western powers, would enshrine Iran’s limited enrichment program as legitimate in the eyes of the international community. From the Israeli perspective, that kind of disallows a rogue preventive strike on Iran, a privilege they want to preserve.

In other words, a deal with Iran means Israel can’t launch an illegal war. Ouch.

51 thoughts on “Why Netanyahu Is So Enraged by a Deal with Iran”

  1. “…a deal with Iran means Israel can’t launch an illegal war.”

    never stopped ’em before.

  2. The Obama administration is misguided in trying to stop Nuttenyahu from starting an aggressive war against Iran. They just need to see to it that Israel gets resoundingly defeated in such a war. There's nothing quite so sobering from believing one can obtain advantage by war than losing one.

    1. Dream on, Ron F. The best the US people can hope for is for the Obama admin to ignore what Netanyahu says and reach an agreement with Iran. Obama should realize that the only reason he was elected and re-elected is because the GOP candidates, (crazy McCain and Bibi's longtime buddy Romney), were such war hawks and devout supporters of whatever Israel wants. BTW, isn't the pugnacious Netanyahu just about the scariest looking man in the world?

    2. Upon rereading my comment, it occurred to me that the site's name is antiwar, and my comment is very much pro-war. So it's probably not the proper venue for saying such things.

  3. I wonder if some body has noticed the Iranian market is ripe for huge 'investment' and the zionist partners might resent the former casting eyes at somebody else.

  4. What I've learned with Obama is to wait for the other shoe to drop. I'll believe this when I see it, till then I'l treat it like the standard background noise re: Iran.
    I'd be happy to be wrong.

    1. There's a fat lady who hasn't started tuning up yet, somewhere. Bammy is going to need more than a legitimized status quo to come off a' winner' here. The Euros can't be getting set to let him down, can they?

  5. "In other words, a deal with Iran means Israel can’t launch an illegal war. Ouch."

    If the Israelis thought they had the capability to successfully attack Iran, they would have done it long ago. This was always going to be war involving the US, instigated by Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iran possesses the capability of inflicting serious damage upon Israel.

  6. I wonder if the FBI monitored all the comments antiwar.com deleted for 6 years. Anyone?

    1. Why would you think he is an Esquimau? I'm sure your meaning is there; sadly, I'm just not seeing it.

  7. Nathan should have bombed Iran the first time they came within two weeks of an atomic weapon, 10 years ago. The world would have forgotten it by now and the Iranians would have understood he meant bidniz.

  8. No, you haven't quite got it; Israel's objections to Iran have nothing to do with Iran's nuclear program. If Iran was to suddenly end enrichment, close its nuclear power station, and cease teaching physics in high school- all actual demands by Israel- Netanyahu would still call it a trick, declare that Iran is hiding a secret program, and insist that sanctions remain in place.
    No one in power in Israel thinks Iran is really working toward a bomb. That's why no deal is acceptable to them- they really don't believe there is a threat of an Iranian bomb anyway. So a deal that eliminates a non-existent threat is no gain to them.
    What a deal does represent, though, is a chance that Iran will get out from under the sanctions that have crippled its economy, and allow Iran to resume its progress as a country. And as an Islamic country with a strong economy with its weight behind opposition to greater Israel, Iran would represent a constant and growing threat to Israel, even if Iranian efforts were exclusively and scrupulously peaceful. Israel can't tolerate a peaceful opponent.
    Sanctions are an acceptable compromise for Israel because they cripple Iran's progress. A deal with the United States that ends sanctions, therefore, is not just not a gain for Israel- the deal itself is a huge threat, and possibly the trigger for a war.

    1. I think that you are right and are still two reason:1-Israel should be seen by international community as a permanent victim in a danger of complete annihilation,and so to hold a permanent issue on the mind of humanity:Jewish holocaust;2-to deviate attention from the misery of Palestinians who "live"under the Israeli boot .

    2. Israeli Zionists need a bogeyman (the weaker in actuality the better)
      in order to self-justify and distract from their on-going campaign to
      acquire Lebensraum and resources.
      Since the US has essentially the same policy for itself on a global scale,
      US leaders and Israeli Zionists expansionists have a natural affinity for each other.

      Their partnership works so long as the Zionists can get Lebensraum,
      and the US can get the lion's share of resources, or at least ostensibly thwart
      (economically or militarily) its perceived global adversaries, mostly China and Russia.

    3. Likud does not care about nukes. They known that Iran is not producing them. Their goal is simply to cause economic harm and suffering to Iran. It does not matter that it will result in hundreds of thousands of dead babies or that it has no long term value. So they are mad that the US may have achieved it's foreign policy goals and this may avert the inevitable humanitarian disaster . So they are throwing a temper tantrum.

  9. Even if a 'deal' is reached with Iran, Israel will remain the winner here. After all, when the dust settles, Israel–and only Israel–will possess nuclear weapons in the Middle East. And Israel will still be able to bully its neighbors with impunity as it continues to boss around Washington.

    I think that Bibi is just pretending to be outraged. His angry demeanor keeps Washington's governing class worried and scared of Israel's wrath in Washington. It also takes attention away from Israel's ongoing criminality. Bibi's bellicose tactics facilitate the continuation of unrivaled Israeli power in Washington and throughout the West.

  10. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov intends to go to Geneva Saturday to join his Western counterparts who are trying to secure a landmark deal with Tehran over Iran's disputed nuclear program, Russia's state-owned news agency reported. – See more at: http://en.alalam.ir/news/1532596

  11. The only thing left for Netanyahu now is to paint an Iranian flag on an Israeli aircraft, drop a nuke on an American city, and say "See, I told you they had nuclear weapons!"

    1. Netanyahu wouldn't even have to do that. He could get caught setting off a nuke here in the US and you would still have a number of US citizens making excuses for him while at the same time demanding war against Iran.

    2. Kind of like the U.S.S. Liberty false-flag attack. They tried to make it look like Egypt was attacking us over 40 years ago !

  12. Its as the saying goes “nut cutting time”.

    According to a news item early this week:- “The Israeli American Council commissioned the distribution of leaflets to thousands of Jewish Americans asking them where their allegiance would lie in the event of a real crisis between the U.S. and Israel.”

    Does this mean that American Jews have the right to choose, which no other American has the right to do, which side they are for Israel or the USA ?

    The leaflet was originally endorsed by representatives of Israel’s foreign ministry.

    [moderator’s note: I usually don’t pre-emptively defend a comment, but in this case it seems warranted. If you were about to instantly denounce/report the claims above as something drummed up from the imaginations of anti-semites, you might want to read the Jewish Telegraph Agency’s story on it, dated October 27th, first – TLK]

  13. In the Foreign Policy article linked on the Anti-War homepage the statement is made that Iran is enriching to 20% "nearly enough to make weapons". this is patently false. It would take enrichment of 80+% to be "nearly" weapons grade. In other words, FOUR TIMES as much, and the enrichment grows exponentially harder. Even with the positive events occurring, the Statist Quo just can't stand a brighter more peaceful future.

    By the way, have you noticed gas prices lately? Amazing what can happen when there is a threat of peace.

  14. It is time that sanity prevails. World leader must come together and make a deal with Iran and save the world from another disastrous war. If west is all about democracy then majority must have the right to decide not a minority of one. Us congress enjoys the lowest approval rating because it never does anything for the very people who have out them in office. They have always done business for other countries specially Israel. US must rise like they did in case of Syria strike resolution and force congress to do what is best for US and for the peace of the world. US public must wake up and press up in congress and administration to do the right thing!! It is their responsibility.

  15. It would be a big improvement if Iran settles all its issues with the other countries. I hope that all of this is for real.

  16. Not really irrational Israel loved the sanctions because it would kill hundreds of thousands of baby Muslims and it was causing horrible economic harm Iran. A deal would end the sanctions and end the enevitable humanitarian crisis. They know that their are no planed nukes in Iran the sanctions where the objective.

  17. I bet that my previous comment will be rejected but I saved it for posterity any way. If it were to be published then perhaps there is hope for humanity after all.

    (I've saved this one too)

  18. I now know that this comment section is monitored by a very biased computer program and I bet that these words are not in its vocabulary!

  19. Look at his eyes blinking and looking down all the time, he is lying through his teeth, he does not believe a word that he is saying.

  20. Nonsense. Israel could, would and has launched illegal wars – with diplomatic cover from the US , and by crying about the whole world’s antisrmitism.

    Iran is aboit Lebanon, not nukes.

  21. The proportions of the NSA’s unconstitutional domestic surveillance apparatus are wider and grander than almost anybody conceived prior to these disclosures. And yet, the “real story,” as Sen. Ron Wyden put it, is still being hidden from us.

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