Feeling isolated after the US withdrawal of the sanction and in an attempt to make its threat of destroying Iran's nuclear capability credible, Israel started hinting it might use its own nuclear weapons in the air strike. The effect of this was to create a threat that could not be ignored. There is almost no doubt that, were it to be used, such a nuclear strike would give Israel the capability to destroy Iran's nuclear programme.
This threat had the effect of removing the Iranian doubt that Israel could destroy the Iranian nuclear capability.
This threat also had the effect of bringing the crisis to the top of the world agenda.
However, the suggestion (a pre-emptive nuclear strike by Israel) appalled both the USA and the Arab nations. In response Hezbollah threatened to fire rockets into northern Israel if there was an airstrike. The effect was to change the options table to that below:
Reacting to its new dilemma, the USA now started some rapid diplomacy to ensure that Israel did not feel the need to threaten to use nuclear weapons.
During the workshop the participants role played the parties involved changing the options table in an attempt to remove their dilemmas.
This is the result
The first move that occurred was that the USA agreed to allow the production of Low Enriched Uranium (up to 20%) and lift sanctions in exchange for a full detailed inspection of the Iranian nuclear facilities.
The inspection teams were allowed from Arab countries and Turkey to ensure that the letter of the law of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty was not being broken.
Previously, the US had insisted that Iran ceased refining Uranium before the sanctions were lifted.
Iran hoped to perform the enrichment but gain trust of the USA, by allowing more detailed inspections.
The options table was changed to the following (changes are highlighted in yellow}:
Faced with the new Israeli threat, the USA attempted to eliminate the dilemmas attached to Israel’s threat to use nuclear weapons by offering reassurances to Israel, especially that Israel would be supported by the USA in the event of any attack. To provide concrete reassurance the US deployed its fleet to the Eastern Med, to support Israel with its Anti-Ballistic missile capability. In addition Hezbollah agreed to not to retaliate against Israel, even in the event of a conventional air attack.
Despite the above, the main dilemmas the main issue of Iran building nuclear weapons had not been addressed.
In an attempt to make a deal a player in the role of the "Norwegian Ambassador" suggested the plan outlined below.
1) Iran stated that it would not produce a weapon if Israel was willing to move towards nuclear parity.
2) Both sides would have low readiness nuclear weapons, more the potential to produce them than the actual weapons ready to use. This meant that Israel would dismantle its weapons, and place them in "kit form" and low readiness (90 days notice), and Iran would be allowed to move towards a similar state of readiness, but would not test any weapons. Both sides would be in a situation where they could produce nuclear weapons in 90 days. (This is similar to South Africa's situation)
The numbers of nuclear weapons was not discussed, just the readiness.
3) To protect and reassure Israel the USA joined a formal "NATO like" alliance with Israel, stating that an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on the United States.
4) Both sides agreed to careful and full inspections (including Israelis in Iran and Iranians in Israel) to ensure trust in the agreement.
5) The Arab states agreed to make concessions towards both Iran and Israel to encourage the process. This involved relaxing the visa requirements towards Iran and recognition of Israel as a legitimate political entity.
Due to a lack of time, some of the details remained to be finalised, but all parties expressed an interest in going forward against that plan.