According to a report to Axios, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan floated the idea for an interim Iran nuclear deal to buy more time for negotiations in recent conversations with his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata.
Sullivan said Iran could freeze certain nuclear activity, such as enriching some uranium at 60 percent, and in exchange, the US would release some Iranian funds or provide sanctions waivers for humanitarian goods. But the report stressed that Sullivan was just “brainstorming” and the idea was “only preliminary.”
The report said Hulata didn’t like Sullivan’s idea and stressed that Israel fears an interim deal could become permanent. It’s not clear how Iran would respond to the proposal, but with JCPOA negotiations resuming on November 29th, the US will have a chance to put it on the table.
In a call on Tuesday, Hulata said the US should get Western powers to censure Iran at the upcoming International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting. Israel is upset that Iran stopped complying with some aspects of the JCPOA. But since the US withdrew from the agreement in 2018, Iran is no longer bound by the deal.
While no longer bound by the JCPOA, Iran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has pledged not to develop nuclear weapons. Israel, on the other hand, refuses to sign the NPT due to its secret nuclear weapons program and is the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East.