Washington – ‘Iran has reached close to achieving nuclear readiness and this immensely concerns Israel. The United States should use ‘other options’ than negotiation to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon’, said Yair Lapid, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Recently, Iran announced that it was rapidly accumulating 120 kg of 20% enriched uranium. Against this backdrop, the Israeli Foreign Minister appears to have issued the warning.
On Tuesday, Lapid, is currently visiting the United States, met Jake Sullivan, the US President’s National Security Advisor (NSA). In this visit, Lapid reminded that Iran has reached a threshold of producing nuclear weapons. Israeli media claims that Lapid, otherwise a soft-spoken person, used very harsh words in his meeting with Sullivan. According to Israeli media, this reflects Israel’s concern over developments in Iran’s nuclear program.
In the meeting with Sullivan, Lapid expressed dissatisfaction over the ongoing talks of the nuclear deal and demanded that the US use other options. While visiting the US last month, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had also mentioned ‘Plan B’ during a meeting with President Biden. Meanwhile, Biden had expressed confidence in the negotiations at Vienna.
The US National Security Advisor has assured that Iran will not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon. The White House said in a statement that talks between the US and Israel on Iran would continue even further. The Biden administration is firm on re-implementing the 2015 nuclear deal. Negotiations for this had been going on for four months in Vienna. It is claimed that negotiations, suspended since the coup in Iran, would resume in November.
The Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Biden administration for resuming negotiations with Iran. Mike Pompeo has accused the Biden administration of Iran’s appeasement by re-entering the nuclear deal. The ex-US Secretary of State has accused that this encourages Iran to pursue its nuclear program even more. He warns that if this persists, no choice will be left other than to take military action against Iran.
Israeli Foreign Minister Lapid will soon meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his visit to the US. There are expectations of significant discussions between the two leaders at this time. Israel had repeatedly warned that it would not allow Iran to be equipped with a nuclear weapon at any cost. Earlier, Israeli leaders had threatened to take action against Iran without US assistance, if needed. There are signs that the Biden administration will not come to Israel’s aid if Israel takes such unilateral action.
Besides, the US and Israel relations have been strained and statements of Israeli leaders highlight the issue. Simultaneously, anger is progressing amongst pro-Israel US leaders, ex-military and intelligence officials and diplomats like Pompeo against the Biden administration’s pro-Iranian policies. This could be a major blow to President Biden’s administration.