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August 22, 2022 1:33 pm

Lapid Warns Macron: Iran Nuclear Proposal Crosses Red Lines of 2015 Deal

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid gives a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, April 24, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Debbie Hill

Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid told French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday that the country opposes a return to the Iran nuclear agreement, warning that the latest EU proposal goes beyond the original 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and will help funnel funds into Tehran’s terrorist activities.

“Israel will continue to do everything to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear capability,” Lapid said.

Lapid expressed Israel’s objection to a return to the Iran nuclear deal and cautioned that the country will not be “obligated” by such an agreement should it be signed, while he also warned that in the latest offer, “there are new elements that go beyond the limits of the original JCPOA, and that it will pave the way for significant investment to flow into Iran’s terrorist network and to strengthening the Iranian military.”

“Israel is concerned at the sanctions relief that is being offered to Iran which goes above and beyond even the 2015 JCPOA in exchange for an agreement that is shorter and weaker today than it was back then,” Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), told The Algemeiner. “This has impacts on the ground in Israel as the greater the sanctions relief for Tehran that is being offered, the more resources the regime has to destabilize the region.”

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“It is also likely watching warily Iran’s attempts to pressure the US and the E3 [France, Britain and Germany] to support closure of the IAEA safeguards probe,” Brodsky added.

Lapid’s conversation with Macron comes a day after European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who coordinates the indirect US-Iranian talks to try and restore the 2015 nuclear deal, said that Tehran has provided a “reasonable” response to the latest EU offer. Borrell has claimed that the current offer is as good as it can get to reach an agreement to save the 2015 nuke deal after 16 months of negotiations.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden spoke Sunday with European counterparts in Germany, France and the UK, who were signatories of the original 2015 deal, to discuss “ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program,” including the “need to strengthen support for partners in the Middle East region, and joint efforts to deter and constrain Iran’s destabilizing regional activities,” according to a US State Department readout of the call.

During the discussion with Macron on the Iranian nuclear threat, Lapid emphasized that Tehran is continuing to conduct negotiations on an offer which was presented as “take it or leave it,” and urged the French leader to transfer a “clear and unequivocal message that there will be no additional concessions to the Iranians,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office statement.

“Any nuclear deal with Tehran cannot last unless there is a comprehensive multilateral strategy to counter Iran’s non-nuclear aggression,” Brodsky remarked.

Israel’s national security adviser Eyal Hulata is expected to arrive to Washington on Monday to meet with US officials to discuss the country’s concerns about the concessions directly with the White House.

“Israel’s national security advisor’s visit to Washington is aimed at influencing this process, but I fear the US and the E3 are making the same mistakes they made in 2013-15 — inking a deal despite the objections of the one country who is the most vulnerable to Iranian malign behavior,” Brodsky cautioned. “The performance of the international community during the time when the US was a part of the JCPOA, from 2015-18, does not inspire confidence, because the deal back then was used as a shield by Tehran to avoid accountability.”

“If the US is now offering Iran even greater sanctions relief, this will limit the policy options it has to tackle these issues,” he warned.

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