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Research Report

Israel’s Role in the Struggle over the Iranian Nuclear Project

Yossi Kuperwasser
Copyright Date: Jun. 1, 2015
Pages: 49

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-4)
  2. (pp. 5-6)
  3. (pp. 7-8)
  4. (pp. 9-9)

    This paper will examine Israel’s policy vis-à-vis the Iranian military nuclear program, the tools it employs to promote its goals, and its effect on the program, taking into consideration the policies of the other major players involved, primarily the United States and Iran. The paper will conclude with some recommendations for effective Israeli policy following the introduction of the Lausanne framework for a final deal, both up to the June 30 deadline for concluding the deal and following it, whether or not a deal is reached by that date....

  5. (pp. 9-15)

    The Iranian military nuclear program was launched in 1988, following the end of the Iran-Iraq War. Its aim was to protect the Islamic Republic against external threats, and to enable it to fulfil its mission of spreading the rule of Islam, under Iranian Shi’ite leadership, in the Middle East and beyond, eventually changing the world order. This project was the most important endeavor undertaken by Islamic Republic of Iran, and as the years went by it became detrimental to the regime’s image. It is not surprising then that the Ayatollahs have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in it.


  6. (pp. 16-19)

    The regional and international picture has undergone many far-reaching changes since Iran began its nuclear program. Despite the importance of the effort to block this plan for all the main players in the international arena (the United States, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Japan), their general agreement to work together against the Iranian nuclear threat, and the fact that the current agreement was reached in spite of the differences between the six countries party to it, these powers never viewed the thwarting of the Iranian plan to be a goal of supreme importance (despite Israel’s attempts to...

  7. (pp. 19-26)

    The differing worldviews described above set the background for the disagreements that have taken place over the years between Israel and the US administration about the right way to deal with the Iranian threat. Although both countries essentially share a common goal of preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, they differ in their attitudes to the threat itself, to the issue of concessions to Iran in the nuclear context, and to Iran’s regional role. Hence there are also significant differences in terms of how they each define their goals as regards the threshold that should separate the regime of the...

  8. (pp. 27-30)

    Unlike Israel (and Congress), the US administration – particularly under Obama, but also under Clinton, and to a lesser extent under Bush – has adopted a fundamentally different strategy, one which stems (as previously described) from a different worldview and a different assessment of the threat. In this approach, the goal is a complex one. On the one hand, it seeks to keep Iran at a reasonable distance from nuclear weapons status, that is, at a distance sufficient to allow forceful intervention to prevent any Iranian effort to produce weapons, although not necessarily one that would deter Iran from considering...

  9. (pp. 30-35)

    While Israel is not one of the countries participating in the talks with Iran, and the United States does not really consult with it regarding its positions on the issues under negotiation, it does have both a clear and central interest in the outcome of the talks and an impact on the positions of some of the participants. As such, Israel receives regular updates on the progress of the negotiations, mainly from the United States, and is able to contribute intelligence information and insights to help the six in formulating their position. Israel does not oppose the talks per se,...

  10. (pp. 36-46)
  11. (pp. 47-48)