Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Unlike Netanyahu, Israeli generals go along with Iran deal

Unlike Netanyahu, Israeli generals go along with Iran deal: Despite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's denunciations of the move toward a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement and efforts by the powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington to undo the interim agreement reached in Switzerland Sunday, influential former military and intelligence chiefs think the deal is moving in the right direction.

Netanyahu snubbed the landmark deal between the U.S.-led Western powers and Iran, which is valid for six months before talks on a more permanent agreement begin even though it limits Iran's nuclear enrichment program, which the West fears is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.

Tehran denies having nuclear weapon ambitions. But Netanyahu, who sees Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs as an existential threat to Israel, branded Sunday's agreement, hailed as a major diplomatic triumph for U.S. President Barack Obama's administration, a "historic mistake" that leaves Iran's military nuclear capabilities largely intact.

But it's becoming clear that other influential Israelis, particularly senior figures in the military and intelligence establishment, view the agreement in a much more favorable light because it slows down Iran's nuclear project even if it doesn't totally dismantle it.