Israeli PM says he is not opposed to ‘good’ nuclear deal with Iran
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday he was not opposed to a “good” nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, but expressed skepticism that such an outcome would emerge from the negotiations. In progress.
Bennett spoke a day after Iranian negotiators and five world powers resumed talks in Vienna on restoring the 2015 tattered nuclear deal with Tehran. He reiterated that Israel was not bound by any agreement, leaving it military leeway.
“In the end, of course, there can be a good deal,” Bennett told IDF Radio. “Should this be happening for the time being in the current dynamics?” No, because a much harder position is needed.
Meanwhile, negotiators from the three Western European countries negotiating with Iran to revive the nuclear deal said they were not setting an “artificial deadline” for a deal, but reiterated it. There were “weeks, not months” to wrap up one.
Bennett also denied claims by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he had agreed to a “no surprises” policy with Washington, meaning he would be outspoken about his military intentions regarding Iran with his first ally and would therefore potentially be hampered.
“Israel will always retain its right to act and will defend itself,” he said.
Israel has watched with concern as European countries, Russia and China resume talks with Iran in recent weeks. Tehran has taken a tough stance in the negotiations, suggesting that anything discussed in previous diplomatic rounds could be renegotiated and demanding sanctions relief even as it ramps up its nuclear program.
Bennett urged negotiators to take a stronger line against Iran. Israel is not a party to the talks but has engaged in a diplomatic blitz on the sidelines in an attempt to influence its allies to put more pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program.
In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told state television that a “speedy and appropriate agreement in the near future” is possible if the other parties to the negotiations show “seriousness and goodwill” .
Tehran’s landmark 2015 accord granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program. But in 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled America out of the deal and imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran. The other signatories fought to keep the deal alive.
The latest round of talks in Vienna, the eighth, opened on Monday, 10 days after negotiations adjourned for the Iranian negotiator to return home for consultations. The previous cycle, the first after a gap of more than five months caused by the arrival of a new hard-line government in Iran, was marked by tensions over new Iranian demands.
Iran claims its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes. Israel views Iran as its greatest enemy and has strongly opposed the 2015 deal.
He says he wants an improved deal that places tighter restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and addresses Iran’s long-range missile program and its support for hostile proxies along Israel’s borders.
Israel also says the negotiations must be accompanied by a “credible” military threat to ensure Iran does not delay indefinitely.
British, French and German negotiators said on Tuesday they were not setting an “artificial” deadline for the talks, but stressed that “this negotiation is urgent”.
“We are clear that we are approaching the point where Iran’s escalation of its nuclear program will have completely emptied the deal,” they added. “This means we have weeks, not months, to strike a deal before the key benefits of non-proliferation are lost. “
Negotiators said they “take note” of comments from the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization that the Islamic Republic will not get rich beyond 60 percent purity.
“However, the fact remains that 60% enrichment is unprecedented for a nuclear-weapon-free state,” they said. “Its 60% growing stockpile brings Iran considerably closer to having fissile material that could be used for nuclear weapons. “