Report: Israeli Officials Warn U.S. Against Reaching Partial Deal With Iran

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria. (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

The U.S. must not reach a partial nuclear deal with Iran, senior Israeli officials have warned the White House, according to a report in The Washington Post Wednesday.

Israeli officials have expressed concerns President Joe Biden’s administration is laying the ground for a deal that would see Tehran freeze or reverse its nuclear program in return for a partial rollback of sanctions, The Post reported.

One such official told The Washington Post, “Israel is very concerned that the U.S. is setting the stage for what they call a ‘less for less’ agreement. Such an agreement would be detrimental and would only benefit the Iranian regime… It would be an enormous gift to Iran’s new, radical and IRGC- [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] affiliated regime.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Yerushalayim would not allow Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons and hegemony in the Middle East.

“We hope the world does not blink, but if it does, we do not intend to,” the Prime Minister said.

Iranian officials have dismissed the idea of such a partial deal, demanding Washington remove all sanctions and provide guarantees it will not exit the accord once again.

According to The Washington Post, Western diplomats believe a partial agreement with Iran could prevent tensions from deteriorating to a military confrontation. They argue such a deal could also provide all sides with the additional time necessary to reach a more permanent and comprehensive agreement.

Israeli officials oppose such an agreement as it would provide Iran with increased resources for meddling in the region.

A senior Israeli official said, “Such an agreement will convince the Iranian public and countries in the region that nuclear blackmail works.”

Commenting on the U.S. decision to continue to engage with Iran on nuclear talks despite a recent attack on a U.S. military base in Syria by pro-Iranian fighters, the official said, “It looks like the U.S. might be giving Iran a bargain deal.”

“Throughout the last two years, we’ve seen a clear spike in Iran’s regional aggression. Fewer restrictions will result in more aggression and more regional upheaval fueled by the more money they will have obtained by sanctions relief. This will pose a danger to the security of the state of Israel and the stability of the Middle East,” a senior Israeli security official said.