On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech and demonstration about the Iranian nuclear deal. In it, he said that Israel had more than 50,000 documents demonstrating that Iran lied about their nuclear intentions. From CNN:
Speaking in English, Netanyahu accused Iran of ramping up efforts to obscure the files in 2015 and moving them to a secret location in Tehran last year.
The choice to speak in English is important. Foreign leaders regularly speak in English in an effort to ensure their words will reach the United States, and oftimes specifically the President. This is done by adversarial nations to present a false image to America and by friendly nations in an attempt to draw American attention.
Iran disputed the information, but Iran is one of the most consistent perpetrators of contradictory messaging, saying one thing in English and then telling their populace something entirely different. Iran is untrustworthy.
Netanyahu did not adequately prove that Iran is violating the agreement. He did demonstrate that Iran negotiated in bad faith and had plans to violate the agreement at the time the agreement was made. For many, that will be enough, especially after U.S. representatives admitted that the information from Israeli intelligence mirrored their own.
This, however, is ultimately not important. Iran is not suddenly being revealed as untrustworthy. Israel has been against this deal from the beginning, because it empowers a state that has claimed Israel’s eradication as a primary goal. Nothing has changed.
The President, Donald Trump, has not made his final decision about the Iranian deal. He is known to be mercurial, if one wishes to be kind; or unstable, if one wishes to be unkind. By either interpretation, until he makes his final decision (and, often, afterward) he is liable to change his mind. There, again, nothing has changed.
The U.K.’s official position is that they want to keep the Iranian deal in place. From the BBC, the Israeli presentation has done nothing to change that stance:
A British government spokesman said inspectors appointed as part of the accord are providing a “vitally important way of independently verifying that Iran is adhering to the deal”.
The spokesman added: “We have never been naive about Iran and its nuclear intentions.”
Germany’s Merkel, also, continues to back the plan, per Downing Street‘s official statement:
“They discussed the importance of the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) as the best way of neutralising the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, agreeing that our priority as an international community remained preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”
This, also indicates that nothing has changed.
And then there is Macron. There, things are changing.
First, he has convinced Germany and the U.K. to be receptive to Trump’s requests for reworking parts of the deal, in order to keep the bulk of it. From the same Downing Street statement:
Acknowledging the importance of retaining the JCPoA, they committed to continue working closely together and with the US on how to tackle the range of challenges that Iran poses – including those issues that a new deal might cover.
Whether this is good depends on an individual’s perspective. On the one hand, those who wish the deal to go away would like to have the extra diplomatic leverage to engage in hostile action against Iranian nuclear sites as a way of eliminating threats and keeping further threat developments in check. On the other hand, those who wish the deal would stay would like to limit the speed of development of Iranian nukes while an effort is made to unseat the current radical government and are concerned about the diplomatic implications of breaking, if not a treaty, something akin to one. Those are the viewpoints of those who favor Western cultures, though. Not everyone shares those views.
Macron also reached out to Rouhani, Iran’s leader, who predictably assailed the U.S. and Israel. From CNN:
The “current conduct of the United States would be in breach of the JCPOA,” Rouhani said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.He said that the Trump administration’s negative comments about the deal had created “fear and ambiguity for different countries and businesses for their relations with Iran,” possibly damaging the country’s economy.
“The presidents of Russia and France called for preserving the Plan and its full implementation,” the Kremlin said.The sides also discussed other vital issues of the international and bilateral agenda.
The phone conversation was held at the initiative of the French side. Macron told Putin about the outcome of his visit to the United States with the focus on the talks devoted to the situation around the Iran nuclear deal.