Israel scrambles to stop nuclear deal that benefits Iran
Israeli officials are preparing to travel to Washington hoping to derail the deal, as the PM Yair Lapid called on western officials to 'walk away from the table'
By News Desk - August 19 2022

Israeli interim Prime Ministe Yair Lapid (left) and Defense Minister Benny Gantz (right) during a meeting at the Knesset on 18 November, 2019. (Photo credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Israeli officials have called on western nations to “walk away” from the negotiating table with Iran, out of fear that the US is on the cusp of returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Washington is currently studying the final text of the JCPOA-revival, which was approved by Iran and the EU earlier this week after 16 months of negotiations.

During a phone call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on 18 August, Israel’s interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid demanded that Europe send a “clear and unequivocal message that there will be no more concessions to Iran,” according to Israeli media.

Lapid also met with the US ambassador to Israel and the chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee’s West Asia Subcommittee, telling them: “In the current situation, the time has come to walk away from the table. Anything else sends a message of weakness to Iran.”

Lapid specifically took aim at a clause in the draft text that allegedly posits that a UN investigation on Iran’s nuclear program will be closed, if the nuclear watchdog concludes Tehran provided enough evidence to show they are not developing a nuclear weapon.

The interim premier reiterated that Israel “is not bound by any nuclear deal” and will continue targeting Iran’s nuclear program.

“The US knows and recognizes this,” Lapid added.

Israel has previously carried out several assassinations and sabotage attempts inside Iran in hopes of scuttling talks to revive the JCPOA.

Tel Aviv is now preparing to send National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata to Washington next week with the aim of derailing a deal with Iran.

Furthermore, late on Thursday the White House National Security Council spokesperson said that reports “that we have accepted or are considering new concessions to Iran as part of reentering the 2015 nuclear deal are categorically false.”

Europe, on the other hand, has remained more open to providing guarantees to Iran, as they regard the country as an attractive source of energy at a time when entire industries are facing collapse after losing access to Russian fuel.

In recent days, oil prices dropped three percent as anticipation grew about the US and Iran inching closer to a deal that would free up Iranian crude for the international market.

As talks about a possible deal increased, western media has tried to blame Iran for the brutal stabbing of Indian-born novelist Salman Rushdie, as well as for the alleged plot to assassinate former White House officials John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.

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