“The great enemy of truth,” John F. Kennedy once observed, “is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Myths and lies surround the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 agreement between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran on the latter’s nuclear weapons program.
And few myths have been as enduring as the myth that the Israeli security establishment supported the so-called Iran nuclear deal.
Gilead Ini, senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy of Reporting and Analysis in the Middle East (CAMERA), pierced the lie when it was introduced in 2015. At the time, the talk to sell l he deal with Iran was in full swing.
In September of that year, the New York Times released a graphic highlighting congressional opposition to the deal brokered by the Obama administration.
Initially, the chart included a column titled “Jew? To emphasize whether the Democratic lawmaker voting on the JCPOA was Jewish or not. Not content with regurgitating the anti-Semitic duck of double loyalty, the newspaper falsely claimed that the debate over the deal “divided Jewish voters between those who saw the deal as a threat to Israel and those who supported it as a means. to avoid a conflict between Iran and the United States. “
That most Americans, Jews and others, were skeptical of the deal on its merits was a fact to be ignored or obscured. Instead, many JCPOA boosters propagated the idea that it was “this deal or this war”.
This lack of nuance was extended in other media reports, which claimed that Israel’s security establishment supported the Iran nuclear deal.
In fact, many experts cited by news organizations as “supporting” have sharply criticized the JCPOA.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, for example, called it a “bad deal”. Cheeky journalist JJ Goldberg suggested that Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israeli military intelligence, was in favor of the deal when in fact it was lukewarm at best. As CAMERA noted at the time, Yadlin called the JCPOA “problematic,” even adding, “It’s not a good deal… you can also call it a bad deal. “
Indeed, other Israeli security experts who have often been cited as supporters, such as Efraim Halevy and Israel Ziv, were less than enthusiastic in their expressions of the deal’s merits. Ziv, while noting that the deal “is not particularly bad”, argued that “there is no one in Israel who thinks the nuclear deal is a good deal.”
Yet more than half a decade later, the media continue to publish reports on the JCPOA and Iran’s nuclear program, which lack essential context.
Take for example, The Washington Post.
On December 9, 2021, the newspaper published a report titled “Israel opposed the Iran nuclear deal, but former Israeli officials increasingly say the US withdrawal was a mistake.” The dispatch’s publication coincided with the ongoing negotiations in Vienna between the United States and Iran.
Israeli officials, To post journalist Shira Rubin said, “warned that economic sanctions against Iran would not prevent it from dangerously advancing its nuclear program.” She adds: “While Israel applauded President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal in 2018,” former Israeli officials “concluded that his policy of ‘maximum pressure’ based primarily on sanctions did not prevent Iran to increase the quantity and quality of its fortified products. uranium.”
To support the point, Rubin quoted Yoel Guzansky, the former head of the Iran bureau of the Israel National Security Council. Guzansky said that “the nuclear deal was flawed, but at least it put the brakes on Iran’s progress, which we don’t have now.” Another official, Raz Zimmt, said the withdrawal “may in fact have accelerated Iran’s nuclear progress”.
the Posts The report claimed that former Israeli officials said the JCPOA “was subjecting Iran to international restrictions and inspections which held critical elements of the nuclear program in check,” while the sanctions got far less.
Yet there is no real way to measure Iran’s nuclear progress. The JCPOA itself did not require Iran to disclose its nuclear history. Moreover, it is not correct to imply that Iran was subjected to a strict inspection regime under the agreement, as the terms of the agreement prohibited the inspection of military sites and n did not allow immediate access. The criterion, from the start, was broken.
Simply put: it is impossible to know the full extent of Iran’s nuclear progress – a fact the deal has not resolved, and arguably made worse. But what is known is that Iran was cheating and lying about its nuclear program – a fact that makes the JCPOA’s loose inspection terms even more troubling.
An October 2018 report from the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington, DC-based think tank, analyzed documentation Israel seized in Tehran during a daring intelligence operation. These “nuclear archives” consisted of thousands of documents, subsequently authenticated by the United States, which showed that Iran not only lied about its nuclear program, but hid it during negotiations with the United States and ‘others. As CAMERA noted in a November 2018 report Daily call editorial, the “nuclear archives” revelations were largely ignored by the media.
In addition, the Posts The report also fails to mention a key fact: the terms of the JCPOA included sunset provisions. The deal did not, by its very terms, prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The biggest booster of the deal even admitted it.
In an April 7, 2015 interview with NPR, then President Barack Obama acknowledged that in “13, 14, 15 years” Iran, thanks to advanced centrifuges, will be able “to enrich uranium fairly quickly, and at this point the dwell times would have been reduced to almost zero. the To post also failed to inform readers that the JCPOA did not address the R&D aspects of the Iranian program and even allowed the use of advanced centrifuges.
Unfortunately, other omissions followed.
the To post noted that Israeli agents murdered Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020, describing him as “the best nuclear scientist in the country”. But Fahrizadeh was more than just a scientist – he was also a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which was nominated by the United States for his role in supporting and training terrorist groups and for targeting the Americans.
the To post also quoted Israeli officials who “have said that the West’s isolation from Iran has also contributed to the weakening of pragmatic Iranian Hassan Rouhani.”
Rouhani may have been pragmatic, but he was not moderate. As CAMERA has often pointed out, Rouhani claimed that United Flight 93, which crashed in the Al Qaeda terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, was “shot down by the air force. American ”. Rouhani also supported the use of illegal chemical warfare and, when he was the first secretary of the Iranian National Security Council, supported operations to target and assassinate dissidents living abroad.
Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and has targeted and murdered Americans. The regime calls for the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world and has devoted considerable resources to attacking Israel. Tehran’s attempts to acquire nuclear weapons warrant both concern and cautious media coverage. Yet too often both have been lacking.
(Note: a slightly different version of this article appeared as an editorial in the Algemeiner on January 6, 2022)