Amid tensions between the United States and Washington over a pending nuclear agreement with Iran, former U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross on Tuesday offered creative ways to reconcile those differences.
Ross, who spoke at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv and was quoted by the Defense News website, suggested that transparent "anytime, anywhere" inspections on Iranian facilities must be put in place. Different, more stringent protocols based on the number of operating centrifuges Iran possesses must be applied, he added.
"You have to ensure that you can verify that a program that has a thousand or two centrifuges is dramatically less than what is required if you have tens of thousands and you'd have to come up with an approach that allows you a high level of confidence that you can cover that," Ross said.
Clear, predetermined consequences must be established for specific Iranian violations, he added.
"There should be use of force worked out with the Hill that says, if we catch them in the following kind of violation, the implication is we will take out those facilities. That would deter the Iranians, that would go a long way toward addressing one of the basic Israeli concerns," argued Ross, according to Defense News.
Retired Israeli Brig. Gen. Yosef Kuperwasser disagreed with Ross's suggestions, replying that, as far as Israel is concerned, Iran cannot be trusted to comply with those parameters.
"They would not believe that [the Americans] really mean business and it would mean that they would continue to move forward cautiously, but continuously," he warned.
Also speaking at the same panel was Martin Indyk, who served as President Barack Obama’s envoy in the last round of failed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Indyk proposed "a nuclear guarantee for Israel" that would address Israeli apprehension of Iran crossing a "nuclear threshold," And spoke of a prior plan previously discussed at Camp David in 2000 between former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the late PA leader Yasser Arafat.
"It was approved then, and the U.S. president [Bill Clinton] said if there is a deal, we'll do this," Indyk said, according to Defense News.
Although the deal was supposed to apply to an agreement with the PA and would need to be altered to fit Iranian negotiations, it "may go a considerable distance toward calming Israel's concerns about the Iranians reneging on commitments it makes in this deal," Indyk added.
Israel has warned several times against an agreement with Iran that would allow it to continue to enrich uranium to the point of being able to produce nuclear weapons.
Recent reports indicated that the United States is ceding ground to Iran in talks and will now allow it to “keep much of its uranium-enriching technology,” thus allowing Iran to maintain its self-proclaimed “right to enrich uranium”.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has vowed to “do everything” to prevent an agreement with Iran that would endanger the existence of the State of Israel.
On Monday night, while acknowledging that he will not allow for Iran to realize its "genocidal aims" against Israel, Netanyahu also clarified that he, contrary to critical opinion, is not against the negotiations themselves.
"I'm not opposed to any deal with Iran, I'm opposed to a bad deal with Iran," he clarified at a speech before the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.