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A former top Israeli military officer is warning that returning to a 2015 nuclear deal that Iran struck with world powers will result in “unprecedented devastating consequences” on the global stage.
Yossi Kupperwasser, a former brigadier general and head of the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Assessment Division, made the comment to Fox News Digital as the European Union is making a push to revive the scuttled pact. The U.S. – which pulled out of the deal and imposed sanctions on Tehran under President Donald Trump – is gearing up Tuesday for talks with Iranian officials in Qatar.
“The ramifications of a return to the emerging deal will be catastrophic across the board,” Kupperwasser said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Ending sanctions would position Iran to spend billions of dollars on developing military capabilities, arming its militias, solidifying the regime’s domestic grip and bolstering its regional standing, which could lead to escalation in the Middle East.”
“Secondly, the international agreement in question would undermine Israel’s international legitimacy to act toward mitigating Iranian capabilities,” he continued.
An Iranian satellite-carrier rocket, called "Zuljanah," blasts off from an undisclosed location in footage released Sunday, June 26, 2022, by Iran state TV. (IRINN via AP)
“It is worth noting that current Iranian unilateral actions to blind international monitoring cameras, along with Iran’s insistence on non-disclosure of its actual activities at its nuclear sites, make it impossible to guarantee that a deal would prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, since the very same deal was ineffective in preventing its progress toward the very nuclear weapons arsenal it is poised to achieve,” Kupperwasser also said.
Iran has abandoned many of the commitments it made in the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after the U.S. withdrew from it.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said that as of early May, Iran has accumulated a stockpile of enriched uranium more than 18 times the limit set out in the former agreement.
In this photo released by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, technicians work at the Arak heavy water reactor’s secondary circuit, as officials and media visit the site, near Arak, 150 miles southwest of the capital of Tehran, in December 2019. (Associated Press)
The U.S. pulled out of the JCPOA for several reasons, including the agreement’s limitations on ensuring long-term prevention of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon and its failure to address certain issues such as Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Under President Biden, the U.S. has been looking into making a new deal with Iran, but the two sides are at an impasse over Iranian demands, including the removal of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Former President Hassan Rouhani, second from right, listens to head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi while visiting an exhibition of Iran’s new nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran, in April 2021. (Iranian Presidency Office/AP)
“A nuclear Iran will trigger a regional nuclear arms race, which will jeopardize not only Israel’s safety, but global security and stability,” Kupperwasser, who is now a senior researcher at the Israel Defense and Security Forum, also told Fox News Digital. “Therefore, at this time, Israel should focus the bulk of its capabilities on preparing to thwart the Iranian nuclear arms program while generating the support of its allies – first and foremost the United States.”
Fox News’ Ben Evansky, Ronn Blitzer and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.