Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s on Sunday told his cabinet that in keeping with the US, “yesterday, the E3 countries announced that a nuclear agreement with Iran will not be signed in the near future and that the IAEA’s open files regarding Iran are not about to be closed.”
“I thank France, the United Kingdom, and Germany for their strong position on this matter,” Lapid said, adding that “in recent months, we held a discreet and intensive dialogue with them, and presented them with up-to-date intelligence information about Iranian activity at nuclear sites.”
He continued: “This afternoon, I will depart for Germany to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The goal of this visit is to coordinate positions on the nuclear issue and finalize the details of the strategic, economic, and security cooperation document we are going to sign.
“Together with Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Israel is conducting a successful diplomatic campaign to stop the nuclear agreement and prevent the lifting of sanctions on Iran. It is not over yet. There is still a long way to go, but there are encouraging signs.
“At the same time, Israel is working to prevent Iran from establishing terrorist bases throughout the Middle East and especially in Syria. I want to emphasize from here, that Israel will not allow Syria to be used as an axis for the transfer of weapons to terrorist organizations, and will not accept the establishment of Iranian bases or militia bases on our northern border.”
On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tehran’s latest response in the negotiations on a nuclear deal had pushed the talks backwards.
“In past weeks, we’ve closed some gaps. Iran has moved away from some extraneous demands – demands unrelated to the JCPOA itself,” Blinken said. “However, the latest response takes us backwards. And we’re not about to agree to a deal that doesn’t meet our bottom-line requirements… If we conclude a deal, it’s only because it will advance our national security.”
In its latest recent response, Iran said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should drop its “politically motivated probes” of Tehran’s nuclear work.
In a statement on Saturday night, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani deplored the unconstructive statement from the “European troika” – France, the UK, and Germany, regarding the sanctions’ removal talks, which he said was in breach of goodwill.
Kanaani said it was surprising and regrettable that under the current circumstances when diplomatic interactions and exchange of messages continue between the negotiating sides and the coordinator of the Vienna talks to finalize the negotiations, the EU3 issues such a communiqué in a move that deviates from the path of the fruitful approach, the Foreign Ministry’s website reported.