A senior Israeli official speaking to reporters on Sunday said that Israel believes the Biden administration will not rejoin the Iran nuclear deal until at least after the November midterm elections in the US.
The Israeli official made the comments to reporters before Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid traveled to Germany, where he is expected to continue to lobby against the nuclear deal.
Israel is becoming increasingly confident that its pressure to sabotage a restoration of the agreement has worked. The official said that Israel was able to “able to persuade the Americans not to yield to Iran’s demands.”
The US responded harshly to Iran’s latest response in the EU-mediated negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. Details of Iran’s response and what the US objects to aren’t exactly clear, but the Israeli official laid out a series of commitments Washington pledged to Israel it wouldn’t take.
The Israeli official signaled that the US wasn’t prepared to give Iran the sanctions relief that it desired to restore the deal. The official said that the US “didn’t promise it will lift the sanctions as Tehran wished, which Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali deems unacceptable.”
Iran has been seeking some guarantees for if the US withdraws from the JCPOA as it did in 2018, but the Israeli official said the US refused. “The US also committed it will not grant Iran significant guarantees in the event it will withdraw from the agreement again. Iran didn’t accept it,” the official said.
The US and Iran have been at odds over the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) investigation into traces of uranium found at undeclared nuclear sites. Tehran has been calling for the IAEA to close the inquiry before the JCPOA is restored.
“Washington pledged to Jerusalem that it will not pressure to close the ongoing investigation of the International Atomic Energy Agency. European countries promised the same, but Iran didn’t accept it,” the Israeli official said.
Israel has been conveying its objection to the JCPOA talks in a series of high-level Israeli visits to Washington. The latest official to visit was David Barnea, the head of the Mossad spy agency. Israel has been pressing the US to establish a credible military threat, and the White House said last week that President Biden wants “other available options” for Iran’s nuclear program if the JCPOA negotiations fail.