January 23, 2017

KNOW YOUR ALLIES:

Israeli security establishment to Netanyahu: Don't touch Iran deal (Ben Caspit, January 23, 2017, Al Monitor)

The problem with Netanyahu is that he, like Trump, currently does not have the backing of the security and intelligence networks of their respective countries. Perhaps even the opposite is true. Those in Israel's various security branches are worriedly keeping track of developments. The recommendation of all the security branches, from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to the Mossad and Military Intelligence, is unequivocal: not to beg the Americans to reopen the nuclear agreement. Period. True, the IDF and Mossad were not enthusiastic about the deal itself, which has innate shortcomings and problems. Israel is convinced that a different approach in the negotiations could have brought about better results. But since the nuclear deal was signed, those in Israel's security system feel that reopening the agreement would cause more damage than it would benefit Israel. That is because such a step would necessarily cause a dramatic confrontation between the United States and Iran.

According to Israeli intelligence (and all the other intelligence organizations in the West), Iran is, at this point in time, adhering closely to the agreement. A reopening of the agreement would cause an immediate loss of the deal's main achievements, which are deferring Iranian nuclear danger by 10-15 years and lengthening the estimated Iranian "breakout time" (toward nuclear bomb capabilities) from only three months in the past to an estimated year and a half in the present (at least). The Israeli security system views the agreement as a positive development, despite the fact that it is full of holes and incomplete. The IDF's multiyear strategic plan is based on this deal. "We have a 10-year strategic opportunity to build up our strength, change our approach and carry out strategic processes," said a highly placed Israeli military source speaking on the condition of anonymity to Al-Monitor. "That is the gift that the nuclear agreement gave Israel, and that is an irrevocable opportunity we must not squander."

Iran, according to a highly placed Israeli military expert, is an enemy of an entirely different order of magnitude compared to all the other traditional enemies Israel coped with, till now. Iran is a regional power, with substantively greater abilities than the countries bordering Israel. Israeli intelligence is keeping a close eye on the domestic situation in Iran. After decades of Israeli hopes for the fall of the ayatollah regime, Israel is lowering its expectations and hopes. "The Iranian government is stable," a member of the Israeli security system told Al-Monitor on the condition of anonymity. And he knows what he is talking about.

It turns out that the IDF' Military Intelligence wing conducts opinion polls in Iran. Modern media methods allow everyone to conduct polls anywhere, whether by social networks, telephone or special programming and algorithms that are capable of measuring and assessing the stability of a regime via what appears on the internet. Israeli experts believe that despite some inner agitation in Iran and despite the fact that there are more Iranians interested in freedom and Western brand names and values, still, President Hassan Rouhani's regime is stable. The Iranian nation still views Rouhani as their authentic representative, and the inner agitation doesn't threaten the regime. 

the most important thing to keep in mind is that Iran supports self-determination in the Middle East and Bibi opposes it, for obvious reasons.
Posted by at January 23, 2017 5:32 PM

  

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