Nuke deal will encourage Iranian terror, Foreign Ministry chief says
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Nuke deal will encourage Iranian terror, Foreign Ministry chief says

Despite promises to the contrary, Dore Gold writes, Tehran will continue its state sponsored militancy regardless of nuclear deal

Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold in Jerusalem, June 1, 2015. (AFP/Thomas Coex)
Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold in Jerusalem, June 1, 2015. (AFP/Thomas Coex)

If a nuclear deal is struck between Iran and the world powers, Tehran will only have more reason to intensify its belligerency and support for terrorism across the Middle East, the head of Israel’s Foreign Ministry wrote on Friday in the Telegraph.

Responding to an earlier op-ed by Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javar Zarif, Gold dismissed claims that a far-reaching accord will moderate and soften the Islamic Republic, or encourage it to give up its territorial ambitions across the region.

“The idea that Iran is a partner in the fight against terrorism is not only disingenuous but also absurd. What Zarif is seeking is a leap of faith by his Western readers, who are asked to believe that a country which has been repeatedly identified as the largest state supporter of terrorism in the world will suddenly be altered by an agreement over its nuclear program into an ally against terrorism. He is asking the world to simply trust Iran that this transformation is about to happen,” Gold notes.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, talks to a journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel where the Iran nuclear talks are being held in Vienna, Austria, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, talks to a journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel where the Iran nuclear talks are being held in Vienna, Austria, Friday, July 10, 2015. (Carlos Barria/Pool via AP)

According to Gold, a successful deal will have two immediate implications on Iran’s economic position and military leverage on the world stage that will “intensify [Tehran’s] support for global terrorism”.

“First, the lifting of sanctions on Iran will result in a windfall of cash for the Iranian treasury, which could reach $150 billion in the first year. As Iran decides which Middle Eastern insurgency to back with its IRGC units, it often has to establish priorities because it is operating under clear economic constraints. These constraints will be removed as Iran obtains the wherewithal to fully fund and even expand its terrorist activity worldwide,” Gold writes.

“Second, in past decades, states supporting terrorism feared retaliatory operations by the West, such as the US attack on Libya in 1986. Deterrence could be created. But if Iran becomes a nuclear threshold state, as a result of its impending agreement with the P5+1, what are the chances that deterrence of this sort will hold? Iran will seek to act with impunity as the terrorism it sponsors acquires a protective nuclear umbrella,” he says.

Concluding that there is “no basis” to believe that a successful deal will temper the Islamic Republic, Gold suggests predicating the agreement on Tehran’s renunciation of terrorism.

“Iran must unequivocally abandon its backing of international terrorism if it ever wants to rejoin the world community,” he says.

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