With negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal underway, Israel is not happy, and Israeli officials are making that known. In a visit to France on Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called for more sanctions on Iran and a “credible military threat” against the country.
“Sanctions on Iran must not be removed. Sanctions must be tightened, a credible military threat must be applied, because only that will stop its nuclear race,” Lapid told French President Emmanuel Macron.
Lapid and other Israeli officials constantly claim Iran is close to developing a nuclear bomb, and those warnings have stepped up now that the JCPOA talks are back on. On Monday, Israeli media reported that Israel warned the US Iran is preparing to enrich uranium at the 90 percent level needed for weapons-grade. But there’s no evidence that Tehran is considering the move, and the report was clearly timed to coincide with the start of negotiations in Vienna.
Israel points to recent advances in Iran’s civilian nuclear program as evidence they are coming closer to a bomb, including enriching some uranium enrichment at 60 percent. But Iran only took these steps in response to Israeli covert attacks and since the US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 by reimposing crippling sanctions.
If Israel really cared about the advancements in Iran’s nuclear program, it would recognize that the JCPOA is the best way to roll it back. The agreement limits Iran’s uranium enrichment at 3.67 percent and puts its nuclear program under the most stringent inspections in the world.