by Adam Gonn
JERUSALEM, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Israeli leaders cautiously observe developments on the ongoing nuclear deal the world powers have with Iran, as a team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Iran on Saturday for inspections ahead of easing sanctions on Monday.
The IAEA inspectors will visit selected nuclear facilities to make sure that the country halts enriching uranium at 20 percent and dilutes its stockpile of already enriched uranium. The conditions are part of an agreement reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany.
For Israel the partial lifting on sanctions is a troubling sign, as Israel is well within range of Iran's missiles. And for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the next six months will test his political will and aspirations.
Meir Javedanfar, a lecturer on Iranian affairs at the Interdisciplinary-Center in Herzliya, told Xinhua on Sunday that it's important to keep in mind that it's a partial lifting of the sanctions.
The interim agreement will run for six months during which some of Iran's oil revenue, which is currently frozen in bank accounts abroad, will be released as long as Iran complies with the guidelines of the deal. At the end of the six months a final agreement is supposed to be reached.
Netanyahu and several other Israeli politicians stated that they won't allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and hinted that Israel might take military action if all other options fail. However, the consensus among Israeli and international military experts is that the Jewish state lacks the military capabilities to destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure, which means that Israel must rely on the United States.
Despite Netanyahu's tough language neither Asculai nor Javedanfar believes that Israel will launch a unilateral military attack on Iran within the next 12 months.
Asculai hopes to see developments in the next six months but he is pessimistic on the possibility of a final agreement.
"I don't think that the strategic goals of the Iranians and the strategic goals of the P5+1 coincide. There will be large scale disagreements and the negotiations will probably be prolonged," Asculai predicted.