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Officials are seen at Iran nuclear talks at the United Nations Palais in Geneva November 24, 2013. (Reuters)

The ink was not dry on the historic Geneva nuclear accord with Iran before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced it as a “historic mistake”  that would allow Iran to cheat and get closer to nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu may have been doing Iran a favor. By criticizing the deal so harshly, he will make it easier for Iranian officials to assert to their

“Rather than try to sabotage the nuclear agreement, detractors should test Iran’s compliance.” – Barbara Slavin

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) chats with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Palais in Geneva November 24, 2013. (Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) chats with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the United Nations Palais in Geneva November 24, 2013. (Reuters)

The views expressed in this Insight are the author’s own and are not endorsed by Middle East Voices or Voice of America. If you’d like to share your opinion on this post, you may use our democratic commenting system below. If you are a Middle East expert or analyst associated with an established academic institution, think tank or non-governmental organization, we invite you to contribute your perspectives on events and issues about or relevant to the region. Please email us through our Contact page with a short proposal for an Insight post or send us a link to an existing post already published on your institutional blog.

Barbara Slavin

Barbara Slavin is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a correspondent for, a website specializing in the Middle East. She is the author of a 2007 book, "Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation," and is a regular commentator on U.S. foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS, C-SPAN and the Voice of America.


  1. Harry Weaver

    November 25, 2013

    Uummmmm! 20% is nowhere near weapons grade. 90% is required for that. The reduction to 5% was required to keep the French happy in maintaining their monopoly in the market of medical isotopes, one in which I ran was to supply the developing world market. They will now have to wait or die pending the new agreement, unless they can afford France’s price. This was the main thrust behind France’s endorsement of the Saudi/Israeli stance. It was all about the money.

    France’s electric power is over 75% nuclear: it’s a major industry for them and they had a lot to do with fostering the Israeli nuclear industry to the point where they have become the fourth most powerful nuclear power on the planet, without so much as a murmur. France will be garnering some benefit from the end product of Dimona which is sited in the Negev, as well as at least one other major nuclear weapons grade processing plant under Israeli control.

    Areva, France’s foremost nuclear power industry entity, will be the one to implement Obama’s revamped nuclear power programme if he goes ahead with it beyond the current mini-stations built by Babcock and Wilcox. Areva and the U.S. have a long established business relationship in the nuclear aspect. The material require for the manufacture of `dirty bombs’ being just one of their by-products that the U.S. has purchased in the past

    • ultraharder

      December 1, 2013

      Thank you Harry!
      It would be wasteful for Iran to
      dilute their 20% uranium. I think
      medical isotopes cause as much
      disease as they cure, but heavy
      element concentrates are valuable
      for physical research. Further refined
      in other countries such as France,
      They can be used to boost thrust
      and electric generation for collabora-
      tive, international, space exploration;
      to win new lands and resources for
      all Earth’s people.
      Is France where the USA bought the
      radioactive material for it’s subcritical,
      EMP weapons both Bush admins
      used in Iraq to fry Iraqi comm and
      weapon control systems, with the
      aftermath of babies born with tumors,
      the epidemic of birth defects and
      cancers from subcritical emp bombs,
      DU, and tactical H bombs on bunkers,
      or are we producing radioactive
      materials for some of those in the
      Imagine making rockets that
      can travel through the solar system
      and back to Earth in a few years.
      discovering whole new worlds!
      Lasting. strong, compact power
      plants are as crucial as fuel-thrust
      efficiency to extending the human
      range of discovery and colonization
      in our solar system that nations
      can achieve together during this
      I think we can manufacture and
      dispose safely now and it would be
      worthwhile if for physics and space.
      Is it better to kill a half-million and
      for thousands to die by inches,
      for fear of some country we could
      share whole planets, moons and
      mineral bounties with and all be
      better off?


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