Israel Will Reportedly Push US to Strike Iranian Facility Amid Lack of Progress in Vienna Talks
15:44 GMT 06.12.2021 (Updated: 17:24 GMT 15.01.2023)
Media reports, citing anonymous sources, claimed that the European countries and the US were frustrated by the last week of talks in Vienna seeing to revive the Iran nuclear deal. According to them, Tehran backtracked on many of its promises and thwarted achieved compromises. Iran, for its part, accused western states of stalling talks.
Israel is planning to ask the US to carry out military strikes against Iran
amid the reported slowdown in Vienna talks between the signatories of the defunct Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA - also known as the Iran nuclear deal), according to Israeli Channels 12 and 13 which didn't reveal their sources. The proposal will reportedly be made by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad's head, David Barnea, when they visit Washington soon.
According to the broadcasters, the Israeli officials will present the idea as a "Plan B" to be activated in case talks in Vienna bear no fruit. The two officials will also reportedly urge Washington to place more sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
The broadcasters claim that the proposed strikes would not be targeting Iran's nuclear sites but other objects instead. Channel 12 suggested it could be Iran's alleged base in Yemen, the existence of which Tehran has denied in the past. The channel further suggested such an attack might alter Iran's stance at the negotiating table.
JCPOA Talks in Vienna
Reports of how Israel is planning to lobby the US regarding Iran come as talks in Vienna aimed at restoring the Iran nuclear deal enter their second week after participants failed to agree terms last week, even though Tehran presented two drafts of the agreement last Wednesday.
Media reports last weekend suggested that the US and European countries became frustrated with these proposals as Iran allegedly backtracked
on many of its promises made in previous rounds of talks.
"[Iran sought to] pocket all of the compromises that others - the US in particular -had made and then ask for more," an anonymous source told AFP.
Iran snapped back at claims insisting that all of its proposals from last week are "fully negotiable". Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called on the signatories of the JCPOA to stop playing "a blame game".
"We are waiting naturally to hear the other side's opinion concerning these texts and whether they have a real (counter) offer to make to us in writing," Khatibzadeh said.
The parties gathered in Vienna for another round of talks after several unsuccessful attempts to strike a new deal in May. The 2015 nuclear agreement was jeopardised when the US withdrew from it in 2018 and introduced sanctions against Iran. In response to Washington's actions, a year after the US withdrawal, Tehran started to drop its JCPOA commitments, gradually increasing uranium enrichment and stockpiling nuclear fuel above permitted levels.
5 December 2021, 21:37 GMT
Both Tehran and the US - under the new administration of Joe Biden - expressed a willingness to resurrect the 2015 deal. However, neither party has been able to agree on the terms of compliance. Iran insists on an instant return to the JCPOA with the text remaining as it was in 2015, without any additions, meaning that the US should lift all sanctions and not impose additional restrictions against Tehran. Washington, however, demands Iran stop enriching uranium and return to compliance first mulling a gradual softening of sanctions without ever necessarily lifting them.