Iran doesn’t want nuclear deal, says UK intelligence chief
Britain’s intelligence chief said on Thursday he was skeptical of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s desire to relaunch a nuclear deal with world powers, but that Tehran would not try to stop them. talks.
Richard Moore, head of the secret intelligence service, known as MI6, said he still believed reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was the best way to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.
As part of the deal, Iran had limited its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief.
“I’m not convinced we’re going to get there. … I don’t think Iran’s Supreme Leader wants to make a deal,” Moore told the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
Still, Moore warned, “the Iranians won’t want to end the talks either, so they might go on for a bit longer.”
Since former US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018, Iran has breached many of the deal’s limits on its nuclear activities. It enriches uranium to near weapons grade.
Western powers are warning that Iran is closing in on the ability to sprint towards building a nuclear bomb. Iran denies wanting to do this.
The United States seeks renewal
US President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to revive the deal. But American, British and French diplomats have all blamed Iran for not bringing back the nuclear deal after more than a year of negotiations.
“I think the deal is absolutely on the table. And the European powers and the [U.S.] the administration here is very clear about this. And I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians, on this issue, would block it. But I don’t think the Iranians want that,” Moore said.
Iran called the nuclear talks positive and accused the United States of failing to provide guarantees that a new US administration would not abandon the deal again like Trump did.
Speaking later in the day at the forum, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel had the military capability to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, should it ever come to that. this as a last resort. Israel views any future Iranian nuclear capability as an existential threat.
“Should we be able to carry out military operations to prevent it, if necessary? The answer is yes. Are we building capacity? Yes. Should we use it last [resort]? Yes. And I hope we will get the support of the United States,” Gantz said.
Bahrain’s Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Sheikh Abdulla bin Ahmed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, declined to directly answer a question about whether his country could participate in pre-emptive military action against Iran’s nuclear program.
But when asked if it would be fair to interpret his answer as “an ambiguous maybe”, he quipped, “fair enough”.
Bahrain is home to the headquarters of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which oversees US naval operations in the Middle East.
The pact looked set to be revived in March, but talks have been turned upside down in part over whether the United States could withdraw the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which controls Israel’s armed and intelligence forces. elite, from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The Biden administration has made it clear that it has no plans to remove the IRGC from the list, a move that would have limited practical effect but would anger many US lawmakers.