Prime Minister Naftali Bennett urged world powers Sunday not to “give in to Iran’s nuclear blackmail,” as negotiators from Iran and world powers gathered in Vienna to resume talks aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.
In a video statement delivered to representatives of the nations opening the negotiations with Iran, Bennett said Tehran is seeking “to end sanctions in exchange for almost nothing” and keep its nuclear program intact while receiving hundreds of billions of dollars once sanctions are lifted.
If the world powers capitulate, “Iran won’t just keep its nuclear program; from today, they’ll be getting paid for it,” Bennett warned.
The prime minister highlighted Iranian leaders’ oft-repeated desire to see Israel destroyed. “Iran doesn’t hide its intentions,” he added. “Just a couple of days ago, the senior command of Iran’s Armed Forces declared, and I quote, ‘We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, not even one millimeter.'”
“There are those who think they deserve to have their sanctions removed, and hundreds of billions of dollars poured right into their rotten regime. They’re wrong,” said Bennett.
“Iran deserves no rewards, no bargain deals and no sanctions relief in return for their brutality. I call upon our allies around the world: Do not give in to Iran’s nuclear blackmail.”
As the seventh round of Vienna talks on Iran’s nuclear program begins Monday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid argued that Tehran had no intention of stopping its nuclear program.
“The Iranians are coming to these talks for only one reason — to get sanctions lifted,” Lapid said after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with his British counterpart Liz Truss in London. “They need money. For Hezbollah, for the Revolutionary Guards, for their global terrorist network, and for their continued race towards a nuclear weapon.”
Israel’s top diplomat posited that Tehran’s strategy in Vienna is to “play for time, earn billions from the removal of sanctions, continue to deceive the world, and covertly advance their nuclear program.”
Lapid called for tighter sanctions on Iran, tighter supervision of nuclear sites, and for talks with Iran to be “conducted from a position of strength.”
European Union-sponsored negotiations aimed at saving an unraveling 2015 nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran were set to restart Monday in Vienna. Israel is reportedly pressing parties to the discussions, including the UK, to condition them on Tehran’s cessation of uranium enrichment.