As nuclear talks resume, Israel PM says worried US is readying to lift Iran sanctions
Israel’s PM Naftali Bennett said on Sunday he is worried the US might be preparing to lift its sanctions on Iran, a day ahead of the resumption of talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna.
“Israel is very concerned about the willingness to lift sanctions and allow the flow of billions to Iran in exchange for insufficient restrictions on the nuclear program,” Bennet said.
“This is a message that we are conveying in every way, both to the Americans and to the other countries that are negotiating with Iran,” he added.
Indirect talks between the US and Iran, with participation of France, Russia, China, UK and Germany, to revive the abandoned 2015 nuclear deal are set to resume in Vienna on Monday after a five-month hiatus.
Israel strongly opposes the 2015 nuclear deal and doesn’t want the US to return to it under Joe Biden’s presidency.
In August, Bennett met with Biden in the White House and discussed Iran. Biden told the Israeli PM that if diplomatic negotiations failed regarding Iran’s nuclear deal, then Washington was prepared with other options.
Washington has threatened a so called “Plan B” was in place if diplomacy with Tehran failed, but did not elaborate on the details of said plan.
A senior Israeli diplomat said on Sunday: “The Americans are saying one thing to us and then the opposite within a few hours,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
“The Americans’ explanation [for seeking an interim deal] is that they don’t want to wake up in X amount of time and find Iran on the verge of nuclear breakout, so they just want to stop enrichment,” the Israeli diplomat said.
“We agree, but we think it can be stopped differently... Our experience from 2015 shows us that any lifting of sanctions and injection of funds will end with [Iran] growing stronger in the region and advancing its nuclear program.”