Israel’s Gantz Urges Vienna Negotiators to Take Harder Line on Iran

Gantz wants world powers to take advantage of Iran's struggling economy

On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz called for the world powers involved in Iran nuclear deal negotiations in Vienna to take a tougher stance on Tehran.

Gantz boasted of the damage US sanctions have done to Iran’s economy and said the situation leaves Tehran with little leverage. “Iran’s domestic situation presents an opportunity for the international community,” he told a Knesset foreign affairs committee. “Iran is coming into negotiations without real bargaining chips.”

The Vienna talks restarted at the end of November and are currently on pause. The US and its European allies want Iran to accept a draft agreement that was negotiated with the previous Iranian government back in June. But Tehran wants more sanctions relief than Washington is offering and submitted new proposals.

Even though the US is taking a hardline stance and has implemented more sanctions since the talks were restarted, the Biden administration is accusing Iran of not taking the process seriously. Unsurprisingly, Israel is playing up the US narrative.

“It is possible and necessary to put an end to Iran’s ‘foot-dragging’ strategy,” Gantz said. Israeli officials have been calling for the US to tighten sanctions and prepare for possible military action against Iran.

Biden officials have been coordinating very closely with Israel and have made vague statements that could be interpreted as military threats. Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US was working with allies on “alternatives” in case the negotiations fail.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.