Israel to lobby U.S. ahead of new Iran nuclear talks
Israel has refused to rule out military action against Iranian nuclear facilities
An Israeli delegation is to travel to Washington next week to lobby U.S. officials for a tough line in renewed talks between major powers and Iran on its nuclear program.
"I will travel to Washington next week at the head of an important delegation, in light of what could be the last round of negotiations between world powers and Iran before a November deadline for an agreement," Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israeli public radio on Wednesday.
"If a bad agreement is reached, this will be unacceptable for us," Steinitz added.
Israel bitterly opposed the interim deal that Washington and other powers reached with Tehran last November, paving the way for the talks on a comprehensive agreement on Iran's future nuclear activities.
Under the interim deal, Tehran agreed to rein in some of its activities in return for limited relief from crippling Western sanctions.
Israel, which has the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear arsenal, had pushed for even stronger Western sanctions against its arch foe to force it to give up all of its nuclear programme.
Israel has refused to rule out military action against Iranian nuclear facilities to prevent any possibility of it developing the technology for an atomic bomb.
Iran and the six powers -Britain, China, France and the United States plus Germany -- had been working to a July target date for a comprehensive agreement to allay international concerns about its ambitions.
But they agreed to extend the talks until Nov. 24 to allow more time to reach a historic deal.
The new talks are to open in New York ahead of the opening of the U.N. General Assembly on September 16.