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Israel Criticizes Biden's 'Tolerance' with Iran

Israel Criticizes Biden's 'Tolerance' with Iran

Thursday, 21 April, 2022 - 09:00
Defense Minister Benny Gantz with US secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Jerusalem (Reuters)

Officials in Tel Aviv condemned the US silence over Tehran's procrastination, accusing the administration of President Joe Bide of delaying the deadline on the nuclear talks.

Israeli sources said that the US, through its National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, had set a deadline for the talks last December.

Sullivan said that the United States and its partners would not accept continuing negotiations indefinitely and initially set February as the time to halt the talks, and then the deadline was moved to March, which has also passed.

Officials in Israel believe that the Iranians are having difficulty deciding whether to move toward signing the agreement and are also awaiting Biden's announcement on removing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from its terrorist list.

Israel continues to believe that Iran has taken advantage of the time during which it held talks with the world powers to strengthen its nuclear program.

According to Haaretz, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said earlier this month that while "treading water" in Vienna, Iran has completed the enrichment of about 50 kilograms of uranium to 60 percent and continues to advance its military nuclear program.

The newspaper confirmed conflicting positions within the Israeli government on the agreement.

Several officials in Tel Aviv believe the faltered negotiations are promising for Israel and evidence of the difficulty of reaching an understanding. It may lead the talks to a dead end.

They believe the agreement's failure will put the West, led by the US, in a military alliance that threatens clashes with Tehran, forcing it to reverse its policy.

Yair Golan, a former Deputy Israeli Chief of Staff and Israel's Deputy Minister of Economics and Industry, believes that reaching an agreement is the best option.

He said Washington is not interested in a military solution, as are the allies in Europe. They believe that the 2015 nuclear agreement, despite its many disadvantages, contains monitoring and accountability devices for the Iranians, and its duration is until 2031, which is not very long.

However, it is sufficient to limit Iranian nuclear activity and examine other means of pressure.

Golan says that relying on sanctions isn't right, adding that removing al-Quds Force from the terrorist list is not an issue.

Sources in Tel Aviv indicated that the pressure campaign launched recently by the Israeli government against withdrawing the IRGC from the US terrorist list is bearing fruit.

Biden now supports the Israeli position in this regard, unlike officials in the US State Department, and he will announce his position very soon.

Haaretz quoted high-ranking Israeli officials involved in talks with Washington saying that Israel is currently preparing for two scenarios.

One is an Iranian decision to retract its demand from the negotiating table, mainly to benefit from the skyrocketing global oil price due to the war in Ukraine. In that event, Israel would have a hard time scuttling the US plan to sign a new agreement with Iran within days.

The second scenario is that Iran insists that the Revolutionary Guards be removed from the terrorist organization list, which could delay and complicate signing a new agreement and lead the parties to further confrontation.

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