Middle East

Israel warns military option on table to block Iran nuclear quest

Vienna talks resumed Monday in attempt to restore 2015 nuclear deal

Israel warns military option on table to block Iran nuclear quest


Israel on Tuesday threatened to use the military option to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

"It is clear that the military option is on the table," Israeli Minister of Internal Security Omer Bar-Lev told a local radio station in Tel Aviv.

Following a five-month break, Iran and world powers on Monday resumed talks in Vienna in a last-ditch attempt to restore the 2015 nuclear accord.

Israel opposed the US return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as Iran nuclear deal, signed in 2015 by Iran, the US, China, Russia, France, the UK, Germany, and the EU.

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed sanctions in a move aimed to bring Iran back to negotiations for what Trump hoped would be a "better" deal.

"We all know that since the (US) withdrawal from the agreement, Iran has advanced significantly and severely, to the ability to make a nuclear bomb,” Bar-Lev said.

He said Israel seeks a return to “a stronger and longer agreement”, noting the reimposition of US sanctions did not affect Iran.

On Tuesday, Israeli military spokesman Ran Kochav said the army was accelerating the pace to prevent Iran from becoming a "nuclear threshold" country.

"I do not interfere in political affairs, but as we said before, we are preparing for all possibilities,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday called on the international community not to make concessions to Iran in the Vienna negotiations.

"Iran arrives at the negotiating table in Vienna with a clear goal: to put an end to the sanctions imposed on it in exchange for doing almost nothing," Bennett said.

The new round of negotiations is taking place between Tehran and the 4+1 group: Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China.

Messages are being communicated to US diplomats as the Iranian side again refused to hold direct talks since Washington is no longer party to the nuclear deal.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar

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