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Nuclear Dispute: Israel Calls For Nuclear Talks With Iran To Be Halted

Israel's government warns of an increase in global terror if the nuclear deal with Iran is reactivated. This is a "bad deal" for the West.

Israeli Prime Minister Jair Lapid has called on the West to end talks with Iran about reviving the nuclear deal. The negotiations must be stopped immediately, the agreement is "a bad deal," said Lapid in Jerusalem. Sanctions relaxation would add billions of dollars to Iran's treasury and allow it to fund terrorist groups like the Palestinian Hamas.

Recently there had been movement in the Vienna negotiations on reactivation of the international nuclear agreement with Iran. US officials said Iran had relaxed its blockade of some UN nuclear inspections and was no longer insisting that the US government remove the Revolutionary Guards from its terrorist list. According to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the talks could continue this week.

Lapid warned the western signatories to the agreement against manipulation by Iran. "Western countries are drawing a red line, Iranians are ignoring them, and the red line is moving," he said. From the Israeli point of view, the agreement that is emerging does not meet the criteria formulated by US President Joe Biden: “to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power”.  Maximum concern. This is how the feeling installed in the Israeli leadership can be defined before the leaks, information and declarations coming from Washington, Tehran and Brussels point to an imminent nuclear agreement between Iran and six powers led by the United States. According to Israel, the new pact that arises from the final offer of the European Union (EU) does not meet the red lines established by the Biden Administration and is so "bad" that, -it warns- it is even worse than the previous one, signed in 2015 and virtually buried in 2018 when US President Donald Trump abandoned it.

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The message launched this Wednesday in an atmosphere of pressure and urgency by Prime Minister Yair Lapid has the White House as its main recipient, although maintaining the forms ("we have an open dialogue on the issues in disagreement") to avoid a crisis with the great ally From Israel. In a meeting with the foreign press in Jerusalem hours before the US sent the response to the final proposal to Tehran, Lapid assured that the agreement that is being outlined "does not meet, in our eyes, the standards established by President Biden himself which is to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state " and lamented that "it is not the first time that Western countries have drawn a red line, the Iranians ignore it and the red line moves".

"On the table right now is a bad deal that would give Iran $100 billion a year that will not be used to build schools and hospitals, but to undermine stability in the Middle East and spread terror around the world," he said. the centrist leader adding that with this money - product of the lifting of sanctions - Tehran "will finance the Revolutionary Guard and also the Basij that oppress the Iranian people. It will finance more attacks on US bases in the Middle East and strengthen Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad".

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"We are not prepared to live with a nuclear threat over our heads from an extremist and violent Islamist regime. We will not allow it," Lapid said, warning: "We will act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state." Likewise, he denounces "the enormous pressure" on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to close open investigations, citing the recent words of its director general, Rafael Grossi: "Iran has not given us the technically credible explanations that we need to explain the origin of many traces of uranium... Allow us an explanation: if there was nuclear material there, where is it now?"

"Israel is not opposed to any agreement. We are against this agreement because it is bad and cannot be accepted as it is written at this time," Lapid clarified at the head of a diplomatic campaign that includes telephone conversations with French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz's trip to the US this Thursday, where he will meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who this Tuesday He has met his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, urgently envoy to Washington.

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Given that avoiding the pact after 16 months of negotiation between the US and Iran -under the mediation of the EU- seems very difficult, the Israeli emissaries intend to ensure that there are no important concessions regarding restrictions, inspections and possible exit windows for Israel's nuclear program. a regime that promises the destruction of Israel. In response to the US withdrawal from the agreement, Tehran accelerated uranium enrichment to 60% and turned to advanced IR-6 centrifuges, putting it at the most advanced point in the history of its nuclear project. For this reason, there are those in the Israeli security agencies who say that "the agreement is bad, but it is preferable to the current and dangerous situation". Others such as Mossad chief David Barnea see the pact in its current draft as a "strategic disaster", as quoted by the daily 'Maariv'.

Government sources affirm that the agreement grants more concessions to Iran than that of 2015 and criticize that it is not "longer and more solid" as the US has promised. "You cannot separate the nuclear project from terrorist activity," they say, citing the sponsorship of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to the militias that surround Israel such as in Lebanon (Hizbullah), Gaza and the West Bank (Islamic Jihad and Hamas) or Syria. In this sense, the US clarifies that the Revolutionary Guard will remain on the list of terrorist groups.

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"I appeal to President Biden to refrain, even now at the last minute, from signing the agreement with Iran that will allow him to develop, install and operate centrifuges, almost without restrictions, in just two years", the former has requested. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett who, together with Lapid, formed a heterogeneous government in June 2021 that fell , with himself, twelve months later. Israel has reiterated that it is not a signatory to the agreement and therefore does not bind it, so it "will use all available tools to prevent the Iranian nuclear program from advancing." An allusion, perhaps, to the sabotage actions attributed to the Mossad or to a military option in the future. "It is not an agreement in which we take part, so we maintain our freedom of action," Gantz warned.

The US and the EU see a return to the agreement as the best way to avoid a nuclear Iran and contribute to regional stability. The Iranian authorities defend that their nuclear plan is only for civilian purposes and accuse Israel of possessing nuclear weapons. Lapid criticizes Biden for the agreement, but without provoking a clash with whom he considers "one of the best friends Israel has ever had." No one forgets the monumental ordeal in 2015 by then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against President Barak Obama by appearing, without his consent, in Congress to attack his pact with Iran. 

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"There will not be a speech in Congress against the president that ended up being counterproductive and caused Israel to be removed from the room where the agreement was negotiated," says a government source aware that Netanyahu will use the resumption of the nuclear pact, if confirmed, as an electoral weapon for the November 1 elections.

Despite its renewed pressure, Israel knows that the last word on the deal rests with Biden and Ayatollah Khamenei.

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