Some aspects of the agreement reached last week on Iran’s nuclear program are good for Israel, but it will take time to judge whether it is a good deal overall or a bad one, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy told Channel 2 news on Friday.
“In this deal there a number of elements that are very good for the state of Israel. There are less good elements, but it is not an agreement that is entirely bad,” he said.
Halevy conceded that “there are problems with the inspections. There is the problem that after 10-15 years, there is the option for Iran to make a nuclear bomb.”
He maintained, however, that an agreement with a timeline greater than a decade would not hold up in the international arena, and explained that 10 years was an eternity in the Middle East.
“There are less good elements in the agreement,” he said, “that require a great deal of work to follow up [on Iran’s activities], not just for the United Nations, but also for intelligence services around the world.”
He added: “But in a situation where it is impossible to separate Iran from a nuclear weapon, inasmuch as Iran refuses to give up on all of its capabilities, they reached an agreement that facilitates other kinds of options, that yielded a period of time in which it is possible to create a different atmosphere in the Middle East.”
Halevy has been a critic of Israel’s strenuous opposition to the agreement, in particular Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vocal objections to the deal.
He said Friday that he believed there was a slim chance that Israel would be able to scupper the agreement through Congress, and apparently took aim at Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, a confidant of Netanyahu.
“I would like for Israel to have someone who could go everywhere in the Capitol, have a discreet conversation with whoever necessary in order to clarify matters, but to my regret, this is not the situation,” he said.