Kissinger criticizes 2015 Iran nuclear deal, warns against new agreement saying it could cause Middle East to become “more explosive.”
By World Israel News Staff
Former US Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger warned against a new nuclear deal with Iran, saying the signing of a new agreement in Vienna could significantly increase tensions in the region.
In an interview published by The Spectator on Saturday, the 99-year-old veteran statesman criticized the original, 2015 nuclear deal, saying that verification efforts to ensure Iran’s compliance – a linchpin of the agreement – would be difficult in practice.
“I was extremely doubtful about the original nuclear agreement. I thought Iran’s promises would be very difficult to verify, and that the talks really created a pattern in which the nuclear build-up might have been slowed down a little but made more inevitable.”
“As a result, countries in the region, particularly Israel – Iran’s chief enemy – but also Egypt and Saudi Arabia – whom they see as principal competitors – were going to be driven into reactions which might make the situation much more explosive.”
The new deal being negotiated in Vienna, Kissinger said, carries with it the flaws of the 2015 agreement, but now has terms that make it “apparently more tolerable” to Iran.
“So all the concerns I had with the original agreement, I’m going to have now.”
Ultimately, Kissinger opined, “there is really no alternative to the elimination of an Iranian nuclear force.”
“There is no way you can have peace in the Middle East with nuclear weapons in Iran, because before that happens, there is a high danger of pre-emption by Israel, because Israel cannot wait for deterrents. It can afford only one blow on itself. That is the inherent problem of the crisis.”
Last year, Kissinger made similar warnings, criticizing the original 2015 Iran nuclear deal’s so-called “sunset clause”, under which restrictions imposed on Iran will begin to be expire ten years after the agreement’s signing.
“We should not fool ourselves,” Kissinger told Dennis Ross during a virtual event held by the Jewish People Policy Institute in January 2021.
“I don’t believe that the spirit [of the deal], with a time limit and so many escape clauses, will do anything other than bring nuclear weapons all over the Middle East and therefore create a situation of latent tension that sooner or later will break out.”
“In principle I could imagine negotiating with the current regime if it changes its attitudes, but they don’t seem to find it possible to give up this combination of Islamist imperialism and threat,” said Kissinger.