Netanyahu is in sheer despair

April 20, 2021 - 10:21

TEHRAN – As Iran and world powers move toward drafting a new agreement on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Israel feels more isolated on Iran while lacking enough diplomatic tools to derail the Vienna nuclear talks. 

Israel seems deeply troubled by the progress made over the past few days in Vienna. The Israeli officials did everything in their power to kill the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or at least pave the way for the United States to “improve” it, but all of their efforts ended in failure, causing more headaches for Benjamin Netanyahu, who is grappling with political turmoil at home.

Israel now believes that the Vienna talks will lead to a U.S. return to the JCPOA, according to Axios. Israeli officials told the American news website that Israeli military intelligence and senior officials in the Mossad briefed a meeting of Israel's security cabinet that talks in Vienna between Iran and other world powers will lead to the U.S. returning to the 2015 nuclear deal.

According to Axios, the Israeli regime is very concerned about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal and is trying to convince the Biden administration not to take the pressure off Iran.
Israeli media outlets close to Netanyahu also detailed the Israeli prime minister’s frustration. Israel Hayom said on Sunday that the U.S. has accepted, in principle, Tehran's demands for compensation due to the sanctions imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump, according to Al Araby Al Jadeed. 

The Israeli newspaper confirmed that “great disappointment’ prevails in Israel over the positions expressed by the Biden administration in the Vienna negotiations, noting that the gap between the positions of Washington and Tel Aviv are “huge.”

All this happened despite the fact that Netanyahu, out of utter despair, tried to derail the Vienna talks by pursuing sabotage of a key Iranian uranium enrichment facility. Israel orchestrated an act of sabotage at the Natanz facility in the midst of the Vienna talks. Iranian officials and analysts said the sabotage was meant to derail the talks or at least undermine Iran’s position at the talks by knocking out thousands of centrifuges at the facility. 

Earlier this month, Israel targeted Iranian commercial ship Saviz in the Red Sea exactly on the same day Iran and the P4+1 resumed in-person talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

So, Netanyahu did whatever he could to prevent Iran from pursuing talks aimed at lifting U.S. sanctions. His subversive efforts were so brazen that the U.S. demanded Israeli officials to cut down “embarrassing chatter” concerning the attacks against Iran. 

Despite Netanyahu’s desperate efforts, Iran and the P4+1 continued talks in Vienna and, to Netanyahu’s chagrin, they began drafting a new agreement to revitalize the JCPOA. 

The Russian envoy to the Vienna talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, said on Monday that “the negotiations entered the drafting stage. Practical solutions are still far away, but we have moved from general words to agreeing on specific steps towards the goal.”

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Seyed Abbas Araghchi has confirmed that Iran was working on a draft text for reviving the accord that could work as a framework for subsequent discussions.

With Iran and its negotiating partners moving fast toward a nuclear understanding, Israel’s Netanyahu seems to be more frustrated than ever, something that could prompt him to double down on his destructive efforts. 

Citing Israeli officials, Axios said no new policy decisions were made during Israel’s security cabinet meeting. But some former Israeli officials claimed that Israeli military planners have developed strategies to stop Iran’s nuclear program. One of the strategies that Israeli analysts and media outlets keep talking about these days is to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel has so far bombed nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria. 

General Amos Yadlin, the former chief of Israel’s military intelligence, who happens to be one of the pilots who attacked Iraqi nuclear facilities near Baghdad and helped design the attack on Syria’s nuclear facility, implied that Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. 

Pointing to Israel’s attack on Iraqi and Syrian nuclear facilities, Yadlin told CNBC, “Iran has learned from what we have done but we have also learned from what we have done and now we have more capabilities.”

These threats come while Iran has fully cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency and its nuclear facilities are purely civilian. Iran continued cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog even after former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA and imposed far-reaching economic sanctions on Iran. Iran did so because it clearly said that it never intends to pursue a non-civilian nuclear program.  
 

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