Ahead of resumption of talks in Vienna on November 29 over a possible return to the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. officials argue that despite all of Israel’s efforts, Iran is only accelerating its nuclear pursuits.
By Israel Hayom via JNS
U.S. officials have warned Israel that attacks against Iran are “counterproductive” and are only encouraging Tehran to speed up its nuclear program, The New York Times reported.
Citing officials familiar with the behind-the-scenes talks between Washington and Jerusalem, the report claimed Israel had been told that while its efforts to undercut the Iranian nuclear program might be “tactically satisfying,” they are “ultimately counterproductive.”
Israel appeared “unmoved” by the arguments, according to the Times.
The report was published ahead of the resumption of talks between Iran and world powers on reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal. The negotiations are scheduled to begin in Vienna on Nov. 29.
“We agreed to start the negotiations aiming at removal of unlawful & inhumane sanctions on 29 November in Vienna,” tweeted Iranian negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani.
Iran and six world powers started to discuss ways to salvage the nuclear pact in April. It has eroded since 2018, when then-U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to breach mandated limits on uranium enrichment the following year.
Negotiations have been on hold since the June election of hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who is expected to take a tough approach when they resume in Vienna.
The six rounds of talks held so far have been indirect, with chiefly European diplomats shuttling between U.S. and Iranian officials.
In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the United States hoped Tehran would return in good faith and ready to negotiate. Washington believed they should resume where they adjourned in June.
“We believe it remains possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA by closing the relatively small number of issues that remained outstanding at the end of June,” Price told a news briefing.
“We believe that if the Iranians are serious, we can manage to do that in relatively short order. However… this window of opportunity will not be open forever, especially if Iran continues to take provocative nuclear steps.” he added.
Named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the pact required Iran to take steps to restrict its nuclear program in return for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. economic sanctions.
European Jewish Press contributed to this report