Former U.S. adviser doubts Iran

Dec. 5, 2013 at 7:27 AM   |   0 comments

TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A former top U.S. adviser on Iran's nuclear program said he doubts Iran will agree to terms the West will demand in a final agreement.

"Washington has laid out very tough conditions for what it is going to ask Iran in terms of rolling back its nuclear capability," Gary Samore, a former adviser to President Barack Obama on disarmament affairs and Iran's nuclear program, told Ynetnews.com Thursday.

"I am skeptical Iran will agree to those terms but that is what these negotiations are all about."

Samore said he understands Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's concerns about the Iranian nuclear threat.

"If this was the final deal, I think he would be right. Clearly this [interim] agreement does not get rid of Iran's nuclear capability," he said in reference to the Nov. 24 agreement signed in Geneva under which Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent and to neutralize its stockpile of enriched uranium. Iran also agreed to permit inspections of its nuclear sites and end development at the Arak heavy-water facility.

In return the six powers agreed not to impose new sanctions during a six-month negotiating period leading to a final agreement and said Iran would receive $7 billion in sanctions relief.

The public disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem on the Iranian nuclear threat is "unfortunate" said Samore, adding he doubts it will damage U.S.-Israeli relations. Netanyahu's fears that easing sanctions could lead to the collapse of the sanctions regime are on target, he said.

"I think it is a danger. We have to be able to demonstrate to them over the course of the next six months the sanctions relief they are getting is very limited and temporary and they won't be able to get further sanctions relief unless they make nuclear concessions," he said.

In 2012 Netanyahu was "very serious" about waging a military strike on Iranian nuclear sites but was dissuaded by Washington and other world leaders, he said.

Samore expressed hope the the P5-plus-1 countries (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) are successful in restraining and ultimately succeeding in eliminating Iran's nuclear weapons in a final agreement.

"If the agreement fails, then I take Netanyahu's word that he will launch a military strike to stop the threat," Samore said.

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