TEL AVIV — Israel's national security adviser warned Tuesday that the year-old nuclear deal between Iran and world powers has emboldened Tehran's support for terror organizations worldwide while allowing it to legitimately race toward the bomb about a decade from now.
"We must prevent Iran from being able, with the conclusion of the agreement, to be able to run to nuclear weapons," Jacob Nagel said. "Those who look carefully at the agreement know that after a decade … Iran will be eligible, in a legitimate way, to enrich uranium and create nuclear weapons."
Nagel addressed an international conference hosted by Israel's Intelligence Heritage Center and Israel Defense just a day after The Associated Press published a secret document outlining Iranian plans to accelerate its enrichment program well before the 15-year accord expires.
The document was described by AP's diplomatic source in Vienna as an "add-on agreement" to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was inked last July and took effect in January of this year.
According to the document obtained by the international news organization, Iran can in 2027 begin installing centrifuges up to five times more efficient than the ones currently allowed; thus cutting the time needed to produce weapons-grade uranium from current estimates of about a year to some six months.
In his address, Nagel did not delve into details of the JCPOA, preferring instead to focus on how it enables Iran's capacity for funding and sponsoring terrorism worldwide.
"Iran continues to be a central source of regional and world terror," he said. "The agreement … makes it very easy to support the Quds Force and other terror organizations big time. With small amounts of money, you can do big terror."
He flagged a recent decision by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body that regulates terrorist financing, to remove Iran from nations blacklisted for money laundering and abuses of the international financial system.
In a June 24 statement, the FATF announced that it welcomed Iran's "adoption and high-level commitment to implement" its action plan and thereby was temporarily suspending "countermeasures" for a period of 12 months. The FATF noted that such countermeasures would be restored if Iran does not demonstrate sufficient progress toward FATF goals.
"They removed Iran from the blacklist of those supporting terror," Nagel said. "Only North Korea has remained at this level. But still it is very clear that Iran supports terror."
On the JCPOA, Nagel said the nuclear accord must not be seen as a vehicle for rehabilitating Iran's demonstrated reputation as a "coordinator and organizer of terrorism."
"One of our goals is to prevent the world from welcoming Iran into the family of nations. It is not a legitimate actor."
He added: "Israel is trying to explain to the world that Iran has not become a cat; it's still a tiger."