Israeli officials: Obama has given Iran 80% of what they want in nuke negotiations

Israeli government officials have told an Israeli TV network that the Obama administration has given in to 80% of Iran's demands in negotiations over their nuclear enrichment program.

How desperate is President Obama to "make history" and enable the Iranian nuclear program?

Jerusalem Post:

Israeli officials told Channel 10 on Friday that they are convinced the Obama administration has already agreed to most of Iran’s demands in the P5+1 negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

According to unnamed officials, Washington “has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want” out of the negotiations, Channel 10 is reporting.

Jerusalem officials appear alarmed at the prospect that the United States will soon strike a deal with the Iranian regime that will leave it with a “breakout capacity” of months during which it can gallop toward a nuclear bomb.

The practical significance of the American compromises in the talks is that Iran will be permitted to keep over 7,000 centrifuges, enough for the Iranians to produce enough enriched material to sprint toward the bomb within a matter of months.

These developments have apparently fueled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sense of urgency in traveling to Washington and addressing Congress in hopes of lobbying American lawmakers to pass tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Channel 10 reported that Netanyahu spoke to a number of Democratic lawmakers in Congress. The premier sought to assuage their concerns that the Israeli leader was using his speech before a joint session of the house in order to undermine Obama’s foreign policy.

Netanyahu’s scheduled speech sparked an uproar in Washington, with Democrats accusing House speaker John Boehner of inviting the premier to speak before Congress as a means of whipping up opposition to the Obama administration’s talks with Iran.

Sources in Jerusalem told Channel 10 that the prime minister views the Iranian nuclear issue as one of paramount importance for Israel’s security. The urgency of the matter – and not partisan politics - is what motivated Netanyahu to violate diplomatic protocol and accept the Republican leadership’s invitation to address the Congress on the need for more sanctions against Iran, Channel 10 quotes officials as saying.

The Israelis are being regularly briefed on the status of the negotiations, but I doubt whether they know for sure if the administration has given Iran 80% of what they want. That said, the number of centrifuges we are going allow Iran to keep is setting off alarm bells in Israel, and should be a deal breaker for the Senate if they get to vote on any agreement with the Iranians.

Currently, Iran has about 20,000 centrifuges at two sites. Cutting that number to 7,000 would appear on the surface to be a good deal. But what is worrying the Israelis is that the current centrifuges are 1st generation machines - not very reliable and very inefficient. But Iran is currently developing the next generation of these machines that may double it's capacity to enrich uranium. Even the best inspection regime is useless if, the Iranians decided one day to pull out of the agreement and kick the inspectors out. Israel contends that if that were to happen, Iran would have enough highly enriched uranium to make a couple of bombs in a few months.

This is what gives urgency to Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Washington. His position: Any deal that allows Iran to enrich that much uranium is an extistential threat to the Jewish state. I'm sure he will make that point in no uncertain terms if he follows through and addresses a joint session of Congress in March.

Israeli government officials have told an Israeli TV network that the Obama administration has given in to 80% of Iran's demands in negotiations over their nuclear enrichment program.

How desperate is President Obama to "make history" and enable the Iranian nuclear program?

Jerusalem Post:

Israeli officials told Channel 10 on Friday that they are convinced the Obama administration has already agreed to most of Iran’s demands in the P5+1 negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

According to unnamed officials, Washington “has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want” out of the negotiations, Channel 10 is reporting.

Jerusalem officials appear alarmed at the prospect that the United States will soon strike a deal with the Iranian regime that will leave it with a “breakout capacity” of months during which it can gallop toward a nuclear bomb.

The practical significance of the American compromises in the talks is that Iran will be permitted to keep over 7,000 centrifuges, enough for the Iranians to produce enough enriched material to sprint toward the bomb within a matter of months.

These developments have apparently fueled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sense of urgency in traveling to Washington and addressing Congress in hopes of lobbying American lawmakers to pass tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Channel 10 reported that Netanyahu spoke to a number of Democratic lawmakers in Congress. The premier sought to assuage their concerns that the Israeli leader was using his speech before a joint session of the house in order to undermine Obama’s foreign policy.

Netanyahu’s scheduled speech sparked an uproar in Washington, with Democrats accusing House speaker John Boehner of inviting the premier to speak before Congress as a means of whipping up opposition to the Obama administration’s talks with Iran.

Sources in Jerusalem told Channel 10 that the prime minister views the Iranian nuclear issue as one of paramount importance for Israel’s security. The urgency of the matter – and not partisan politics - is what motivated Netanyahu to violate diplomatic protocol and accept the Republican leadership’s invitation to address the Congress on the need for more sanctions against Iran, Channel 10 quotes officials as saying.

The Israelis are being regularly briefed on the status of the negotiations, but I doubt whether they know for sure if the administration has given Iran 80% of what they want. That said, the number of centrifuges we are going allow Iran to keep is setting off alarm bells in Israel, and should be a deal breaker for the Senate if they get to vote on any agreement with the Iranians.

Currently, Iran has about 20,000 centrifuges at two sites. Cutting that number to 7,000 would appear on the surface to be a good deal. But what is worrying the Israelis is that the current centrifuges are 1st generation machines - not very reliable and very inefficient. But Iran is currently developing the next generation of these machines that may double it's capacity to enrich uranium. Even the best inspection regime is useless if, the Iranians decided one day to pull out of the agreement and kick the inspectors out. Israel contends that if that were to happen, Iran would have enough highly enriched uranium to make a couple of bombs in a few months.

This is what gives urgency to Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Washington. His position: Any deal that allows Iran to enrich that much uranium is an extistential threat to the Jewish state. I'm sure he will make that point in no uncertain terms if he follows through and addresses a joint session of Congress in March.