Report: US may try to buy Israeli cooperation on Iran nuclear deal

The US may consider giving Israel advanced military equipment in return for cooperation on the Iran nuclear deal, reports indicate.

By: Lauren Calin, World Israel News

The US may be discussing the possibility of providing Israel with top-notch military equipment in return for toning down criticism of the Iran nuclear deal, which would allow the Islamic Republic to develop a nuclear weapon almost immediately after the agreement expires.

the Bushehr nuclear power plant

Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran. (AP/Mehr News Agency, Majid Asgaripour, File)

“The White House is willing to pay a hefty price to get some quiet from the Israelis at this point. We are surprised the demand has not been made,” an anonymous American government official told Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. The source indicated that the US would most likely increase the number of F-35 fighter jets sold to Israel. Other possible forms of “compensation” could be the provision of additional Iron Dome batteries and the subsidizing of already-authorized jet purchases.

According to a similar report in Haaretz, Israel could receive 50 F-35s instead of the planned 33. Israel is expecting to receive the first F-35s next year.

An Israeli source, however, expressed skepticism that the US would succeed in buying silence on the Iranian nuclear deal. “If we come with demands at this point, it would mean that we have given up our objections to the deal, and now it is just a matter of at what price,” the source said. “If Israel believes that the deal is a bad one for its security, it cannot appear as someone who gave up in the end.”

Israel objects strongly to the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 based on the framework agreement that was reached in early April. The primary concern is that the deal leaves too much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in place, including 6,000 centrifuges, and removes sanctions too quickly. US President Barack Obama admitted that the breakout time for an Iranian nuclear weapon will have dropped to zero before the agreement expires. The deal also fails to address Iran’s destabilizing role in the region, including its refusal to recognize Israel, and its use of terror proxies.