Israel warns against US push to start nuclear deal with Iran

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Israel warned that the Biden administration’s willingness to restart negotiations with Iran about rejoining the 2015 nuclear accord “will pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal,” according to a report.

“Israel remains committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons and its position on the nuclear agreement has not changed,” the prime minister’s office said, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“Israel believes that going back to the old agreement will pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal. Israel is in close contact with the United States on this matter,” it added.

On Thursday, the State Department said Washington would accept an invitation to meet with the countries that negotiated the original agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran — “to discuss a diplomatic way forward on Iran’s nuclear program.”

“We are ready to show up if such a meeting were to take place,” a US official told Reuters.

In 2018, the Trump administration pulled out of the deal three years after it was brokered by the Obama administration. The accord reduced sanctions against Tehran in exchange for the country reducing its stockpile of enriched uranium needed to fuel nuclear weapons.

Barack Obama, standing with then-Vice President Joe Biden, conducts a press conference  in the East Room of the White House in response to the Iran Nuclear Deal, on July 14, 2015 in Washington, DC.
President Barack Obama, standing with Vice President Joe Biden, conducts a press conference in the East Room of the White House in response to the Iran nuclear deal, on July 14, 2015, in Washington, DC.
Andrew Harnik – Pool/Getty Images

Since the US’ withdrawal, Iran has admitted it’s breached the 2015 deal by using advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges in an underground plant.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has opposed the Iran deal from the outset.

A senior European Union official said Friday that the EU is working on organizing an informal meeting with all participants in the nuclear deal and the US.

An attendee holds a ticket from the speech U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered on the nuclear agreement with Iran at the National Constitution Center on September 2, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
An attendee holds a ticket from the speech U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered on the nuclear agreement with Iran at the National Constitution Center on September 2, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

No invitations have been sent and there is no time frame for the meeting, but world powers want to revive the nuclear accord as soon as possible, the official added, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said US sanctions must be pulled before his country would consider coming back into compliance with the deal.

When sanctions are lifted, “we will then immediately reverse all remedial measures. Simple,” Zarif said on Twitter.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei delivers remarks on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran Nuclear Issue in 2015.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei delivers remarks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iran nuclear issue in 2015.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A senior Iranian official told Reuters that Tehran was considering Washington’s offer to talk about reviving the nuclear deal.

“But first they should return to the deal. Then within the framework of the 2015 deal, a mechanism to basically synchronize steps can be discussed,” the official said.

An overview image showing Iran's Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP), northeast of the Iranian city of Qom.
An overview image showing Iran’s Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, northeast of the Iranian city of Qom.
Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Tec

Tehran has set a Feb. 23 deadline for the US to begin reversing sanctions, otherwise it said it would take its biggest step yet to breach the deal — banning short-notice inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog.

With Post wires

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