On Monday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told President Obama: “Mr. President, a bad deal leads to a nuclear arms race in the Mideast. If that comes to be, Israel will be in an untenable situation.” His words were meant to serve as a warning to the Obama administration as it charges into a Tuesday deadline for striking a nuclear deal with Iran.
The Obama administration is racing against the clock in the attempt to secure the deal, even despite worries that a weak deal could trigger a regional arms race, and mounting warnings that the Arab League is uniting against Iran-aligned forces in Yemen.
“50-50,” according to the White House, are the predicted the deal will be made. The framework deal, that would be the basis for a final accord, was meant to be concluded by the March 31 deadline. Also, the final accord was to be reached by the end of June. However, Eric Schultz, the White House spokesman, said talks would “go down to the wire,” while briefing reporters on Monday on Air Force One. He added that US officials are working round the clock in earnest and that he would not “presuppose failure.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, says the deal in the works sends the message that “there is a reward for Iran’s aggression,” at the forefront of accusations that Iran helped Shiite rebels advance in Yemen. On the other hand, according to speculation, other nations, including Saudi Arabia, could pursue a nuclear weapon if a deal struck with Iran is not strong enough.
One of the toughest critics of the talks, Graham, spoke to “Defcon 3” of FoxNews.com and said: “The Arabs are going to want to bomb Iran themselves if you do a deal where they feel like Iran is a threshold nation.”
“Any deal will stretch the time Iran needs to make a nuclear weapon from the present to at least a year at best, or even two to three months at worst,” the Obama administration says. However, critics question that, and state that such a solution would keep Tehran’s nuclear technology intact, which is bad for everyone.
Officials also told the Associated Press that the US, including five other nations at the talks – Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia – insist on progressive removal of all caps on Iran’s activities after 10 years, whereas a total lifting is what Iran is looking for after a decade.