Netanyahu: Israel opposes interim US-Iran deal on nuclear program

Middle East Monitor  /  June 19, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that Tel Aviv has informed the United States of its opposition to “interim deals” being made on the “Iranian nuclear program”.

Netanyahu told reporters during a tour of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) exhibition that Israel is “determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons”, explaining that Tel Aviv’s continuous and strong opposition to returning to the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 “contributes to the American decision not to do so”.

“We have also made it clear to our American friends that interim agreements [with Iran] are unacceptable to us,” he added.

Last Tuesday, Netanyahu told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee that “Israel will not be bound by any agreement with Iran,” and that “Israel will do everything in its power to defend itself.”

“Our opposition to returning to the original [nuclear] agreement remains the same, and we express our position clearly and publicly,” he added.

“We are making efforts to expand the circle of peace, and this presents us with many challenges, but it allows opportunities. More than 90% of our security problems are caused by Iran and its proxies,” he said.

Reports have recently revealed that Washington and Tehran are mulling a possible return to an amended nuclear agreement; through “bilateral understandings” within an interim agreement.


Israel could accept US-Iran nuclear ‘understanding’, senior lawmaker says

Middle East Monitor  /  June 18, 2023

Israel could find acceptable an understanding between its arch-foe Iran and the United States if it includes rigorous supervision of Tehran’s nuclear program, a senior lawmaker said in comments aired on Saturday, reports Reuters.

According to Iranian and Western officials, Israel’s main ally Washington is holding talks with Iran to sketch out steps that could include limiting the Iranian nuclear program.

These steps would be cast as an “understanding” rather than an agreement requiring review by the US Congress, such as the 2015 accord abandoned in 2018 by then-President Donald Trump.

“It’s not a wide-scope agreement, it’s more like a small agreement, a memorandum of understanding, an M.O.U., and I think Israel can live with this if there is real supervision,” Yuli Edelstein, head of the Israeli parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, told Channel 12’s Meet the Press.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined comment on whether fellow Likud party member Edelstein’s remarks reflected the views of the premier.

On Tuesday, before briefing the Foreign Affairs and Defence committee, Netanyahu said in televised remarks: “Our position is clear. No agreement with Iran would obligate Israel, which will do everything required to defend itself.

“Our opposition to the deal – a return to the original (2015) deal – is working, I think.”

“But there are still differences in outlook, and we do not hide these, regarding smaller agreements too. We have been stating our position clearly, both in closed and open sessions,” Netanyahu said.