By Ariel Kahana , Shahar Klaiman and Neta Bar, Israel Hayom—-
Unnamed Israeli diplomats over the weekend unofficially expressed disappointment over what they called “complete American capitulation” in nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna. Learning the lessons from the Obama administration’s clashes with Israel in 2015, the Biden administration is trying to avoid any surprises and is keeping Israel abreast of developments. With that, the two allies remain at considerable odds over Iran and its nuclear ambitions.
According to information received by Israel, the six world powers – the United States, China, Russia, Great Britain, France and Germany – and Iran are indeed close to signing an agreement stipulating that the sides are returning to the original nuclear deal from 2015, from which former US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018. However, Iran will not be required to destroy the new advanced centrifuges it has built, rather just disconnect them.
The world powers are also expected to ignore other violations that are difficult to reverse from a technical standpoint. The Americans have also accepted in principle Iran’s demand for compensation over the economic damage caused by the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the deal.
A compensation mechanism still doesn’t exist and will likely be indirect once established. However, the fundamental decision to restore the nuclear deal has already been made.
In Israel, officials have fallen in step in terms of the dangers posed by Iran and not coming to terms with a nuclear Islamic republic. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said on Friday at a meeting in Cyprus with his Greek, UAE and Cypriot counterparts that “Iran and its proxies are fomenting instability in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.”
He continued: “Iran wants to acquire nuclear weapons and continues to develop long-range missiles. These will represent a significant threat to Israel and its neighbors. Israel is determined to defend itself from any attempt to infringe on its sovereignty and harm its citizens. We will do everything it takes to prevent the fanatical and antisemitic regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
Other Israeli diplomats said the American promise of reaching “a stronger and more long-term nuclear deal” in the future is not feasible.
“Maybe the Americans want to believe they will get a better deal down the road,” one of the Israeli officials said, “but the moment they return to the original agreement they lose all leverage with Iran, which has no interest whatsoever in altering it. This promise is either a lie or pretending to be naive.” Continue Reading…..