Iran Deal Is Now Extremely Unlikely, Israeli Officials Say

(AP/Carolyn Kaster)

In a dramatic turnabout, Israeli diplomatic officials now say that the chances of a nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers are “slim to none,” Yisrael Hayom reported on Tuesday.

“The possibility that the sides will sign a deal in the foreseeable future is shrinking exponentially,” two officials told Yisrael Hayom, although they admitted that the possibility of a surprising development resulting in a deal still exists.

Until a month ago, Israeli diplomatic and security officials believed that a new nuclear agreement was a done deal. The US Biden administration was speeding ahead in its dogged determination to sign a deal, making concession after concession to Iran, not allowing the resignation of two senior members of the negotiation team to deter them. Even the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its sanctions against Russia didn’t deter the Biden administration from signing an agreement in which Russia is one of the main signatories. In fact, the deal calls for Russia to be the country that stores Iran’s enriched uranium and even be paid for its commitment!

A draft of a new deal had been submitted and all that was missing was the confirmation of a date for the signing of the deal.

But since then, Iran has not only failed to confirm its agreement with the deal but has made a number of new demands, including the removal of its Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps from the US terror list.

Even that outrageous demand didn’t deter the Biden administration, which considered agreeing to the request. However, that ended after major pushback from a number of senior officials and organizations in the US, including high-ranking fellow Democrats and an open letter against the deal by 45 US generals and admirals. Israel also publicly slammed the move and Bennett’s diplomatic advisor Shimrit Meir held a number of meetings on the issue in Washington with senior Biden administration officials.

The report added that apart from the official talks in Vienna, Biden administration officials also held clandestine discussions with senior Iranian officials in an effort to reach a compromise, with the option raised of keeping the IRGC’s Quds Force on the terror list but removing the Revolutionary Guards as a whole from it. These secret talks failed as well and Iran continued to make even made more demands.

“Iran is making more and more demands, and the US is facing domestic difficulties, so the more time passes, the less chance there is of a deal,” a diplomatic official said.

Israeli National Security Advisor Dr. Eyal Haluta is in Washington this week for a number of meetings and a senior official told Yisrael Hayom that the purpose of Haluta’s visit is to plan for the scenario in which no agreement is signed.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)