Monday, 26 Sep 2022 - 1 of Tishri, 5783

As nuclear agreement with Iran appears imminent, Israel reiterates its opposition, ‘This agreement will send approximately a quarter of a trillion dollars to the Iranian terror administration’s pocke’

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Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid reiterated Israel’s opposition to a return tot the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – (JCPOA), and would not be obligated by such an agreement, in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Israel will continue to do everything to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear capability,” Lapid said.

Israeli Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on U.S. President Joe Biden and the American administration ‘’to refrain, even now at this last minute, from signing the (nuclear)  agreement with Iran.’’

‘’This agreement will send approximately a quarter of a trillion dollars to the Iranian terror administration’s pocket and to its regional proxies, and will enable Iran to develop, install and operate centrifuges, with almost no restrictions, in a mere two years,’’ he said in a statement.

‘’Throughout the past year, even when it was very close, we successfully convinced our White House counterparts not to give in to Iranian demands. I hope this will remain the case,’’ Bennett added.

He stressed that Israel is not a party to the agreement and ‘’ is not committed to any of the restrictions stemming from the agreement and will utilize all available tools to prevent the Iranian nuclear program from advancing.”

Israeli Prime Minister Lapid speaks with French President Macron  

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also reiterated Israel’s opposition to a return tot the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – (JCPOA), and would not be obligated by such an agreement, in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Israel will continue to do everything to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear capability,” Lapid said.

The two leaders discussed the Iranian nuclear issue at length. The Israeli Prime  ‘’reiterated the need for a clear and unequivocal message that there will be no additional concessions to the Iranians,’’ the statement said.

‘’Prime Minister Lapid emphasized that the Iranians are continuing to conduct negotiations on an offer which was presented as “take it or leave it.” The Prime Minister also warned that in that offer, there are new elements that go beyond the limits of the original JCPOA, and that it will pave the way for significant investment to flow into Iran’s terrorist network and to strengthening the Iranian military. ‘’

French President Macron emphasized his commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

According tot he Elysée Palace, President Macron ‘’reiterated France’s commitment to Israel’s security, and its determination to contribute to dialogue and stability in the region.’’

The French President spoke to Lapid about his exchange the previous day with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, U.S. President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. ‘’He expressed his wish to see efforts continue to obtain an agreement that would allow a return to compliance with the JCPOA and that would take into account the security interests of Israel and the other countries in the region,’’ said the Elysée Palace statement.

With the prospect of an agreement imminent, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that the U.N. watchdog group will “absolutely not” give up its demand that Iran provide an answer justifying the presence of traces of undeclared nuclear material at several sites in the country.

“Abandoning an investigation is not something the IAEA is used to doing and the agency will never do,” Rafael Grossi told CNN. “We have an obligation – a legal obligation – which is to clarify many things that Iran has not clarified at this point… We have been trying to do that for a long time.”

He added that “it’s very simple. We have to have an explanation: If nuclear material was there, then where is it now? And then we will be able to make a report that yes, we have clarified the issue.

A meeting to revive the JCPOA this week ? 

EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said that a possible meeting dedicated to reinstating the Iran nuclear deal could take place “this week” after Tehran responded to a proposal submitted by the bloc.

“A meeting had been scheduled in Vienna at the end of last week, but it was not possible. However, it is possible that it will take place this week,” said Borrell.

He added that negotiations had gone as far as possible and that the talks had reached “a turning point.”

“Iran has made a response that I considered reasonable to pass on to the United States,” he said.

“The United States has not yet responded officially. But we are waiting for their response and I hope that their response will allow us to finalize the negotiations – I hope so but I cannot assure you of that,” Borrell added.

U.S. President Biden speaks with European leaders 

U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday discussed the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran during a phone call with the leaders of France, Germany, and Britain, according to a statement released by the White House.

Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke about the “need to strengthen support for partners in the Middle East” as negotiations in Vienna over Tehran’s nuclear program appeared to be reaching an end-point.

The leaders also discussed the need to undertake “joint efforts to deter and constrain Iran’s destabilizing regional activities,” said the statement.

The call comes just days after Iran reportedly dropped its apparent precondition for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be removed from the U.S. State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

A senior Biden administration official cited by CNN revealed that Iran’s response earlier this week to a draft nuclear agreement proposed by the European Union made no mention of Tehran’s previously firm position on the IRGC.

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