Bennett: Israel is not against a “good” nuclear deal with Iran


Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday morning that Israel would not automatically oppose an agreement between the world powers with Iran during the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna.

“We are not automatic naysayers. We’re taking a hands-on approach, ”Bennett said in an interview with Army Radio. “Unlike others, we don’t want to fight for the sake of fighting; Rather, we try to achieve a result. “

However, he indicated that the possibility of reaching an agreement in line with the interests of Israel from the Vienna talks was slim.

“At the end of the day, of course, it can turn out to be a lot – we know the parameters,” he added. “But is that currently expected in this dynamic? No, because you need a much stronger position [from world leaders]. Iran has very weak cards, but the world acts as if it were negotiating from a position of strength. “

World leaders and Iran resumed talks on Monday to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. The final round of talks in Vienna, the eighth, opened 10 days after the negotiations were suspended to allow the Iranian negotiator to return home for consultations. The final round, the first after a more than five-month hiatus triggered by the arrival of a new hard-line government in Iran, was marked by tension over new Iranian demands.

“If we work hard in the coming days and weeks, we should achieve a positive result,” said the EU diplomat who chaired the talks, Enrique Mora, after the opening session on Monday. But “it will be very difficult – difficult political decisions have to be made.”

The Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Enrique Mora speaks to journalists after the nuclear talks in Vienna on December 27, 2021. (Alex Halada / AFP)

Bennett told public broadcaster Kan on Tuesday that Israel would be “undoubtedly not a party to the Vienna accord if it comes to that.” In response to recent public statements by IDF officials that Israel is ready to attack Iran at any time, Bennett reiterated, “I am in favor of speaking little and doing much.”

He said a recent report that the Biden government refused to take his calls was “fake news” but there was still disagreement between the two countries.

“We don’t always agree with United States policy and sometimes there is disagreement,” he said. “We have a very close cooperation … but we are not always on an equal footing.”

Speaking to Army Radio, Bennett rejected the idea that he had agreed to a “no surprises” policy between Israel and the US, which opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has cited as a sign of the government’s weakness.

“It’s a complete lie,” said Bennett. “I think Netanyahu is the last person who can preach on the Iran issue,” he added, implying that while the former prime minister was harsh on the Iranian nuclear program, it was “a very difficult situation” for the current one Government left behind.

“The last government bury its head in the sand,” he said.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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