Beware a Bad Deal with Tehran
Amos Yadlin, Yoel Guzansky
In any possible deal, the assumption is that Iran will be granted legitimacy to enrich uranium on its soil. Thus, the difference between a "good deal" and a "bad deal" lies in parameters of Iran’s enrichment that would prevent it from breaking out towards nuclear weapons. The idea is to stop the clock or even reverse it, thereby allowing for nonmilitary options to stop Iran’s nuclearization to be fully exhausted.
A deal with the following parameters would be considered good: significant limitations on continuing enrichment until Iran has regained the trust of the international community; removing most of the enriched uranium from Iran, both that enriched to 3.5 percent as well as that enriched to 20 percent, closing the facility dug into the mountainside near Qom; signing the IAEA "additional protocol"; and providing satisfying explanations for the questions that remain between the IAEA and Iran. Such a deal would ensure that an Iranian breakout to nuclear weapons would be a long process and thus place Iran outside the "immunity zone." It would not meet all past demands made on Iran, but it would be better than the alternative of Iran having the bomb or being bombed. However, the probability of Iran accepting such an agreement is very low.
A bad deal, one that the Iranians are likely to offer and that the international community would be tempted to accept, would include explicit legitimacy for Iran enriching uranium on its soil up to the 5 percent level but would not include removal of most of the already-enriched uranium from within Iran’s borders. The bad deal also would include not limiting the number or type of centrifuges and enrichment sites. Iran then would be able to continue securing its sites in a way that would make damaging them much harder than it is at present. With such a deal, Iran would be able to improve its chances of breaking out toward nuclear weapons in a relatively short time after making the decision to do so.
Should the sides agree to this, even with some modifications, it would legitimize an Iranian nuclear posture in which Tehran remains dangerously on the nuclear threshold. Concurrently, the pressure on Iran would end, sanctions would be suspended or eased, and Iran would avoid the danger of a military strike.
FULL ARTICLE: http://www.inss.org.il/upload/(FILE)1336059774.pdf