Micaela Burrow on August 19, 2022
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid lobbied U.S. officials Thursday to reconsider the nuclear deal, alleging that it contains concessions beyond what the Biden administration has agreed to tolerate, according to Axios.
Lapid told the White House that the deal on the table exceeds what the U.S. agreed to in 2015, when the Obama administration signed the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran’s ayatollah to stave off further development of its nuclear program, Axios reported. Lapid also met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to reiterate Israel’s argument for giving up the months-long attempt to revive the deal, and he will continue advocating this position with Western leaders, The Times of Israel reported.
“In the current situation, the time has come to walk away from the table. Anything else sends a message of weakness to Iran,” Lapid told Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East and North Africa subcommittee, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides on Thursday, Axios reported, citing a senior Israeli official.
Israel wants the deal scrapped because it “is on the front lines of the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Victoria Coates, former National Security Council adviser and Vandenberg Coalition Board Member, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Lapid also raised concerns to Deutch and Nides about an apparent clause that would pressure the International Atomic Energy Agency to drop its independent probe into unjustified nuclear materials found in Iran, Axios reported. Iran is not providing credible explanations to IAEA queries, Lapid claimed.
“This should raise a red flag for the international community,” he said.
“Now is the time to sit and talk about what to do going forward in order to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Lapid added, according to Axios.
Nothing here is true. We would never accept such terms. We also would not have left a deal that was working only to see Iran massively accelerate its nuclear program. https://t.co/MY6uJZzCGD
— National Security Council (@WHNSC) August 18, 2022
Although the European Union said its early August proposal was a “final text,” Iran responded near the EU’s deadline Monday outlining several problems it said would still need to be worked out with the U.S.
Reports “that we have accepted or are considering new concessions to Iran as part of reentering the 2015 nuclear deal are categorically false,” White House National Security Council spokesperson told Axios Thursday.
Iran’s primary dispute with the deal on the table is that it does not contain economic guarantees and sanctions relief should a future U.S. administration withdraw from the deal as former President Trump did in 2018, according to reports.
Israel would not be beholden to any nuclear agreement signed by the U.S. and Iran, Lapid told lawmakers later, according to Axios. He added that the U.S. understands Israel will do whatever necessary to neutralize Iran’s disruptive funding of terrorists in the region and stop its rapid move toward nuclear weaponization.
Israeli National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata plans to speak with White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan later in August about the ongoing negotiations, Axios reported.
The State Department, White House, and Israeli and Iranian Foreign Ministries did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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