Executive Intelligence Review


Israeli Analyst Says Trump Leaves the Door Open for Negotiation over Iran

May 9, 2018 (EIRNS)—Senior Israeli security commentator Ron Ben-Yishai writes today in Ynetnews that President Donald Trump’s announcement of U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement aims at starting a new negotiation process. Whereas Trump has given 180 days for European, Chinese, and Russian companies to wind down their activities in Iran, after which sanctions against them will take effect, Ben-Yishai points out that this is, in effect, a “wide window” for negotiations. Furthermore, Trump made it clear that if the Iranians are willing to make amendments to the existing agreement, he would be willing to call off the American withdrawal.

The amendments Trump is looking for include restrictions on the development of medium- and long-range ballistic missiles; changing the “sunset provisions,” under which Iran would be able to enrich as much uranium as it wants, as fast as it wants, after 15 years; tightening the supervision over the development of nuclear warheads for missiles; securing a commitment from Iran to stop aiding terror and guerrilla organizations led by Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Houthis in Yemen. But, Ben-Yishai states, Trump failed to clarify how he wants to fix the flaws in the existing agreement. He is leaving it to the Europeans, who will conduct the negotiations, if the Iranians agree to renew the talks.

Ben-Yishai said Trump had mentioned the agreement with North Korea, that he wanted to stress that his strict policy vis-á-vis Pyongyang proved itself, and that there is good reason to believe that, eventually, the Iranians will seek a compromise, too. Trump reiterated that North Korea was ready for negotiations and a reconciliation with the U.S., despite his strict policy.

Ben-Yishai pointed to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s indirect confirmation of this assumption, when he said that Iran would stay in Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) without Washington. Rouhani warned, however, that Iran would revive full-scale enrichment if talks failed. In other words, Iran is prepared to hold talks with the other five signers that will try to mediate and reach new understandings which may comply with the American demands.