On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and called on the world powers involved in the Vienna talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal to take a strong stance against the Islamic Republic.
“Against the backdrop of the nuclear talks in Vienna, the prime minister stressed the importance of a strong and determined stance against Iran’s progress in the nuclear project,” Bennett’s office said in a statement.
Russia is one of the participants of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, and has been attending the Vienna talks. Israel’s opposition to the talks is no secret, and Bennett has publicly called on the US to “immediately” halt the negotiations and increase the pressure on Iran.
The US and Iran are at odds over verifications and guarantees for sanctions relief and what steps to take in order to revive the JCPOA. Russia’s envoy in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said on Twitter that the JCPOA participants met with US representatives on Thursday and discussed the “implementation of a future deal.”
“We need to agree on who will be doing what and when on the way towards full restoration of the nuclear deal. Not an easy task,” Ulyanov wrote.
Overall, Russia has spoken much more positively of the Vienna talks since they restarted in Vienna than the US and its European allies. Although they have admitted that some progress has been made, US and European officials are constantly warning that time is running out to revive the deal. The Western powers also portray Iran as the difficult party even though the US violated the deal in the first place and scuttled earlier negotiations.