Monday, September 26

Israel Opposes ‘Bad’ Iran Nuclear Deal as US Response Awaited


Israel opposes the deal being negotiated by Iran and world powers and will act to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Wednesday.

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Israel opposes the deal being negotiated by Iran and world powers and will act to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Wednesday.

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“On the table right now is a bad deal,” Lapid said at a briefing for reporters in Jerusalem. The premier said an accord would deliver Iran a windfall that it could spend on strengthening its nuclear program and funding proxy organizations in the region, several of which operate on Israel’s borders.

Israeli governments have long opposed lifting sanctions on the Iranian economy, including oil exports, in return for strict limits on its nuclear-enrichment program. But Lapid’s comments come at an especially sensitive time. European and US officials have signaled they may be closing in on a blueprint to revive a 2015 pact with Iran that collapsed after the Trump administration withdrew four years ago.

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Iran Deal Revival Is Closer Than Before But Gaps Remain, US Says

Tehran has in recent weeks dropped one contentious demand: that the US remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its list of foreign terrorist organizations. Still, other obstacles remain and it’s uncertain whether an agreement will be reached.

After more than a year of diplomacy, the US is expected to respond to a “final” European Union proposal for a deal. Iran has submitted its position on the document, which EU foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell described as “reasonable.”

Israel is discussing “matters of disagreement” with the Biden administration and has spoken with the leaders of the UK, France and Germany in recent days to reiterate its opposition, Lapid said.

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“We have made it clear to everyone: if a deal is signed, it does not obligate Israel,” he said. “We will act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state.”

Israel is widely believed to be behind covert attacks in recent years that have damaged Iran’s nuclear research capabilities and killed some of its top scientists.

The Sticky Issues Holding Up a New Iran Nuclear Deal: QuickTake

Delivering a further boost to the multiparty negotiations, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s probe into uranium traces found in Iran, discovered after an Israeli operation helped identify possible covert activities, could also be nearing conclusion.

“We are going to get there, I’m pretty confident,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said late Tuesday in an interview on PBS, adding his inspectors have agreed on a mechanism to resolve the three-year probe.

The Argentine diplomat dismissed reports that the US or Europe pressured his agency to end the investigation to help deliver a nuclear agreement.

A revival of the 2015 deal would allow IAEA monitors to resume expansive surveillance and snap inspections. “If we have the correct and necessary access, the IAEA will always be in a position to detect in a timely manner the deviation of nuclear material,” Grossi said.



financialpost.com