As hopes for the restoration of Iran’s nuclear deal are rising, Israel’s PM Yair Lapid is reaching EU and US officials to prevent finalization of any agreement.
It was on this Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid reached German Chancellor Olaf Schultz in a phone call to emphasize Israel’s concerns regarding the efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
During the phone call, Lipid clearly demanded German Chancellor to end the talks as soon as possible before any agreement is concluded with Iran.
In addition to the Germany, Lipid also discussed Israel’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear negotiations with Ted Deutch, chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East Subcommittee, as well as with the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides.
Last but not least, the head of Israel’s National Security Council, Eyal Hulata, is also expected to travel to the United States next week to have more talks on the matter. The new developments came days after the European Union submitted a “final” draft text to Tehran and Washington to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal.
In an emailed statement, a senior Israeli official rebuked EU for its efforts to restore Iran’s nuclear agreement. “The Europeans sent Iran a final offer, which doesn’t even meet the demands that the Americans committed to, and established that this offer was ‘take it or leave it.’ Iran turned down the offer, and the time has come to get up and walk away. Anything else sends a strong message of weakness,” the official said.
The official also noted that the world must now quit more talks and instead, begin to discuss what must be done in order to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear weapons capacities, adding that Israel will do anything in its power to do so; “Israel, as everyone knows, is not obligated by anything and will do what it needs to stop a nuclear Iran and prevent Iran from using its terrorist proxies in the region,” he further noted.
Israel worried about US concessions to Iran
Latest reports from different media outlets suggest that Washington has agreed to make several concessions to Tehran in the final text of the agreement to revive the nuclear deal; The US has agreed, for example, to release $7 billion dollars of Iranian funds that have been frozen in South Korean banks due to US sanctions.
Washington has also accepted to nullify a number of Trump-era executive orders targeting Iran’s economic affairs. Iran will also be allowed to sell nearly 50 million barrels of oil during a 120-day period after the finalization of the deal. In this regard, the US will lift sanctions on 17 Iranian banks and 150 other entities. Last but not least, Washington has expressed agreement to reciprocally release Iranian prisoners detained in the United States.
All this has become a source of grave concern for Tel Aviv that a new deal with Tehran is dangerous for Israel’s security. And this per se emanates from the fact that Israeli officials believe the restoration of 2015 nuclear agreement can in fact pave the way and accelerate Iran’s move towards obtaining nuclear weapons.
Iran, however, has long denied Israel’s accusations that it wants to develop nuclear weapons and has warned that it will give a “crushing” response to any Israeli attack targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel insists that it reserves the right to resort to military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.