Then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (pictured) blasted the Israeli leadership, including Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres. (AP) Then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (pictured) blasted the Israeli leadership, including Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres. (AP)
Henry Kissinger

Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz have questioned the wisdom of the framework agreement between Iran and the six world powers, pointing to the serious dangers.

US President Barack Obama has waxed optimistic about the framework deal achieved between the P5+1 and Iran last week, saying that a final deal would make the world safer and insisting that the Islamic Republic would be unable to produce nuclear weapons.

On Twitter, after signing the framework agreement, Secretary of State John Kerry called it a “big day,” saying that the European Union, P5+1 and Iran “now have parameters to resolve major issues on nuclear program. Back to work soon on a final deal.”

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, penned by Kissinger and Shultz, they said that “the president deserves respect for the commitment with which he has pursued the objective of reducing nuclear peril, as does Secretary of State John Kerry for the persistence, patience and ingenuity with which he has striven to impose significant constraints on Iran’s nuclear program.

“Progress has been made on shrinking the size of Iran’s enriched stockpile, confining the enrichment of uranium to one facility, and limiting aspects of the enrichment process. Still, the ultimate significance of the framework will depend on its verifiability and enforceability,” they wrote.

Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger (AP)

Yet negotiation a final deal would be “extremely challenging,” they continued, noting that some clauses “have been dismissed by the principal Iranian negotiator as ‘spin.’ A joint EU-Iran statement differs in important respects, especially with regard to the lifting of sanctions and permitted research and development.”

According to the framework agreement, Iran is under no permanent obligation to give up its equipment, facilities or fissile product, they point out. Rather, they are placed under “temporary restriction and safeguard—amounting in many cases to a seal at the door of a depot or periodic visits by inspectors to declared sites. The physical magnitude of the effort is daunting. Is the International Atomic Energy Agency technically, and in terms of human resources, up to so complex and vast an assignment?”

Can Iran be Trusted?

They also question whether Iran could be trusted at all. “The experience of Iran’s work on a heavy-water reactor during the “interim agreement” period—when suspect activity was identified but played down in the interest of a positive negotiating atmosphere—is not encouraging.”

President Obama meets with former secretary of state George Shultz in the Oval Office in May 2009 to discuss nuclear reductions. (AP/Gerald Herbert)

President Obama meets with former secretary of state George Shultz in the Oval Office in May 2009 to discuss nuclear reductions. (AP/Gerald Herbert)

Yet negotiating a final deal would be “extremely challenging,” they continued, noting that some clauses “have been dismissed by the principal Iranian negotiator as ‘spin.’ A joint EU-Iran statement differs in important respects, especially with regard to the lifting of sanctions and permitted research and development.”

According to the framework agreement, Iran is under no permanent obligation to give up its equipment, facilities or fissile product, they point out. Rather, they are placed under “temporary restriction and safeguard—amounting in many cases to a seal at the door of a depot or periodic visits by inspectors to declared sites. The physical magnitude of the effort is daunting. Is the International Atomic Energy Agency technically, and in terms of human resources, up to so complex and vast an assignment?”

They also question whether Iran could be trusted at all. “The experience of Iran’s work on a heavy-water reactor during the “interim agreement” period—when suspect activity was identified but played down in the interest of a positive negotiating atmosphere—is not encouraging.”

A Significant Nuclear Power

According to Shultz and Kissinger, “The gradual expiration of the framework agreement, beginning in a decade, will enable Iran to become a significant nuclear, industrial and military power after that time—in the scope and sophistication of its nuclear program and its latent capacity to weaponize at a time of its choosing. Limits on Iran’s research and development have not been publicly disclosed (or perhaps agreed). Therefore Iran will be in a position to bolster its advanced nuclear technology during the period of the agreement and rapidly deploy more advanced centrifuges—of at least five times the capacity of the current model—after the agreement expires or is broken.”

Current negotiations possibly leading to a permanent agreement must address several issues, they continue, “including the mechanism for reducing Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium from 10,000 to 300 kilograms, the scale of uranium enrichment after 10 years, and the IAEA’s concerns regarding previous Iranian weapons efforts. The ability to resolve these and similar issues should determine the decision over whether or when the U.S. might still walk away from the negotiations.”

Projected Agreement Brings New Problems

However, “even when these issues are resolved, another set of problems emerges because the negotiating process has created its own realities. The interim agreement accepted Iranian enrichment; the new agreement makes it an integral part of the architecture. For the U.S., a decade-long restriction on Iran’s nuclear capacity is a possibly hopeful interlude. For Iran’s neighbors—who perceive their imperatives in terms of millennial rivalries—it is a dangerous prelude to an even more dangerous permanent fact of life.”

Explaining in further detail the dangers of a nuclear Iran and its implications for the region and for the world, they conclude: “Until clarity on an American strategic political concept is reached, the projected nuclear agreement will reinforce, not resolve, the world’s challenges in the region. Rather than enabling American disengagement from the Middle East, the nuclear framework is more likely to necessitate deepening involvement there—on complex new terms.”

To read the full article, click HERE.

By: United with Israel Staff