A new round of tension between Tehran and Tel Aviv sparked to threatening statements after hopes for reviving Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) subsided early this week.
It was on this Saturday that Germany, France, and Britain issued a harsh statement regarding the efforts to revive Iran’s unclear deal and described Iran’s response to EU’s ‘final text’ as “unconstructive” and “regrettable”.
Iran then immediately reacted to the statement, calling it “unconstructive”, with Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani accusing Israel of provoking JCPOA parties. “The three European countries have taken a step in the route of the Zionist regime to defeat the negotiations with this ill-considered remark,” Kanaani said this Saturday.
And now, as hopes for reviving the nuclear deal are fading, Israel has decided to escalate verbal tensions with Iran.
This Mondays, the head of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, said that reviving the JCPOA is not going to give Iran what he called “immunity” from his agency’s operations against Iran’s nuclear program. In his speech during a conference at Herzliya’s Reichman University, David Barnea noted that “the nuclear talks are not a restraining factor in any way; on the contrary. Terror activity is expanding both on US soil and in Europe, and this is during the negotiations in Vienna… Attempts are being made to harm American officials on US soil. Therefore, even if a deal is signed, it will not provide immunity from Mossad operations.”
Barnea also noted that against Tehran’s demand, investigations opened by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into suspected covert nuclear activity in Iran should not be closed, because that could lead to “a nuclear escalation”.
Barnea traveled to Washington last week to boos efforts to prevent any agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. Meeting with US officials in CIA, Barnea said that he had presented the consequences of signing the deal with Tehran, “which would pump $90 billion dollars into Iran’s treasury in the first year and dozens more every year after that.”
Iran reacts to Israel’s anti-JCPOA efforts
In reaction to Barnea’s threatening language against Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Naser Kanaani warned Israel that it is “playing a destructive role in the negotiations to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA)”.
In addition, the Iranian military unveiled the creation of the “Arash-2” drone, a suicide drone that is said to have the capability to reach the Israeli cities. Speaking on an Iranian television program, Iran’s Army commander General Kiumarz Heidari said this Monday evening that the drone was specifically designed “as part of a structure to attack Tel Aviv and Haifa” and threatened to “destroy” these two cities “if the enemy makes mistakes, on the orders of the Supreme Leader of the Revolution Ali Khamenei”.
This new drone is itself an upgrade to its previous model, Arah-1, unveiled in 2019, which boasts a flight capability of 2,000 kilometers. At the moment nothing has been specified about the new features of the Arash-2, beyond the fact that it would have been designed to attack Israel, a country with which it maintains a historic conflict ranging from alleged assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists to cyberattacks and sabotage of ships.
Since the JCPOA was born on 14 July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 together with the European Union, Israel has been one of the tough opponents of it. And now, as efforts to revive the JCPOA, of which US former president Donald Trump withdrew unilaterally in 2018, has increased during recent weeks, Israel is making everything it can to prevent Western parties from returning to any agreement with Iran.