Gantz says he supports ‘wider, stronger, longer’ deal with Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Sunday he supported a “broader, stronger and longer” nuclear deal with Iran, even as Israel would expect talks surrounding a return to multilateral agreement of 2015 is collapsing.

“I support an agreement that will be broader, stronger and longer – take back Iran, dismantle its current capabilities and place effective inspections on its sites and on its weapons production,” Gantz told a conference. on Israeli security affairs, organized by Haaretz. daily and UCLA.

Last week, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid reportedly reiterated Israel’s position to Rob Malley, the US special envoy to Iran, that Tehran is simply trying to buy time with negotiations over its nuclear program until that the question of joining the 2015 nuclear agreement is no longer relevant.

The foreign secretary reportedly told Malley that Iran has no plans to return to the deal, which the United States withdrew in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump.

Since then, a series of increasingly serious incidents have hit the wider Middle East. This includes drone and mine attacks targeting ships at sea, as well as assaults blamed on Iran and its proxies in Iraq and Syria.

At Sunday’s conference, the defense minister warned that “Iran sees itself as a hegemon, systematically equipping terrorist armies and exporting its radical ideology, weapons, funds and manpower through the Middle East “.

Illustration: The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, General Hossein Salami, left, and the commander of the Guard’s aerospace division, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, talk during the unveiling of a new drone called “Gaza In an undisclosed location in Iran, in a photo posted on May 22, 2021. (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Sepahnews, via AP)

“They target economic resources as we saw in the Aramco attack, disrupt world trade as we saw in the Mercer Street attack, undermine democratic processes as we saw in the Iraqi elections and dismantle regimes as we see in Lebanon and Syria, ”Gantz added.

A number of attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities have been blamed on Israel, and since February Iran and Israel have been engaged in a “shadow war” in which ships linked to each country are attacked in the waters. around the Gulf.

Israel has said it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, and its military has started to develop new attack plans for a potential strike against Iranian facilities. Last month, the government reportedly allocated billions of shekels to make these plans viable.

Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman and main nuclear negotiator Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Islamic Republic would continue its actions in violation of the nuclear deal until it can be assured that the United States will verifiably lift its crippling sanctions.

A date of November 29 has been set for the resumption of talks in Vienna to save the JCPOA after a five-month hiatus in negotiations that began when Iran elected radical President Ebrahim Raisi.

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