Israel has shifted gears as western and Iranian negotiators suggested that a new nuclear deal might be finalized in the coming days based on a draft proposal by the European Union.
Although it may be too late to derail finalization of the deal, the Israeli government hopes to have some sway on its content. The terms have not yet been made public, but media reports painted a concerning picture for Israel.
“We will do everything we can to influence the agreement,” Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Tuesday during a meeting of his National Unity party.
Gantz confirmed that Israel has been in contact with the United States and other countries over talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement.
“Israel will know how to maintain its freedom of action if necessary,” he added.
Gantz will head to the U.S. to meet with defense officials at CENTCOM headquarters in Florida and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Washington, his office said.
Israel’s alternate-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also warned against a dangerous deal and called on the U.S. to resist caving in to Iranian demands.
“I call on President Biden and the American administration to refrain, even now at this last minute, from signing the agreement with Iran,” Bennett said in a statement.
“This agreement will send approximately a quarter of a trillion dollars to the Iranian terror administration's pocket and to its regional proxies, and will enable Iran to develop, install and operate centrifuges, with almost no restrictions, in a mere two years,” he added. “Throughout the past year, even when it was very close, we successfully convinced our White House counterparts not to give in to Iranian demands. I hope this will remain the case.”