The Israeli news website Zman Yisrael said it has “learned” that a new nuclear deal between the US and Iran is off the table and will not be signed in the “foreseeable future.”
Zman Yisrael didn’t cite any sources but said that this message had been conveyed to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in recent conversations with President Biden and other US officials. Other major Israeli publications picked up on the story, as Bloomberg writes, “Top US officials have told Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid that a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers won’t be signed in the foreseeable future, The Times of Israel reported.”
Prospects for a revival of the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, seemed unlikely after the US slammed Iran’s latest response in the ongoing negotiations as “not encouraging” and “moving backwards.”
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrel, has been brokering the negotiations, but said on Monday that he thinks the deal is “in danger.” The comments marked Borrel’s most pessimistic remarks about the talks they were recently restarted by the EU.
Israel is strongly opposed to the deal and has been pressuring the US to scrap negotiations. Lapid said on Tuesday that it was still “too early” to know if the pressure has worked and issued a fresh threat against Iran.
Lapid said Israel must do what it takes to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. But if that were his concern, he should favor a revival of the JCPOA as it puts Iran’s civilian nuclear program under strict limits and makes it subject to the most intrusive inspections in the world.
Lapid is expected to play up the fact that he averted a new Iran deal by pressuring the US as part of his election campaign. Israel’s election will be held on November 1, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a contender.
Lapid criticized Netanyahu’s confrontational approach to the Obama administration when the JCPOA was first negotiated in 2015.
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