Israel not bound by nuclear deal, Bennet says as Iran refuses interim deal once again

Iran says it and world powers were coming close to a “good agreement,” and Russia says that sides are beginning to “overcome their differences.”

By World Israel News staff

Israel is not bound by any nuclear deal with Iran and will continue to act free of constraints if necessary, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday.

“Israel is not bound by what will be written in the agreements, if they are signed, and Israel will continue to maintain full freedom of action anywhere any time, with no constraints,” he said, speaking to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for the first time since his term in office began.

Indirect talks between Iran and the United States on returning to the 2015 nuclear deal started up again in Vienna last Tuesday.

Bennett said that in regard to the talks, “Israel is concerned, but not party to the agreements.”

However, Israel has asked that world powers involved in the agreement maintain a credible military option against Iran.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry once again ruled out an interim agreement with the world powers.

Spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry Saeed Khatibzadeh said Tehran is “looking for a lasting and credible agreement, and no agreement without these two components is on in our agenda.”

We all need to make sure that the return of the United States [to the deal is accompanied by verification and the receipt of guarantees, and that a lifting of sanctions must take place. These are not achieved by any temporary agreement.”

Khatibzadeh last month expressed similar remarks, stating that Iran ruled out any “halts or step-by-step agreements or temporary agreements.”

At the time, Khatibzadeh told reporters that Tehran will only negotiate based on the two drafts it has already submitted on removing U,S. sanctions and halting Iran’s compensatory measures.

However, it may seem talks could be coming to an end as Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahaian said that Iran and world powers were coming close to a “good agreement.”

“We are close to a good agreement, but to reach this good agreement in the short term, it must be pursued by the other side.”

Russia’s chief negotiator, Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov, said he agrees with the Iranians and “shares the assessment” that sides are beginning to overcome their differences.

“Progress is being made. But achieving the desired solution will require additional time and effort,” Ulyanov tweeted.

That same day Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei referred to the Vienna talks in a speech.

“We have not surrendered until today, and God willing, this will be the case in the future,” he said, stating that sometimes “Negotiating with the enemy is necessary.”

Also on Sunday, Iran denied a report by London-based Rai al-Youm that Iran had reached a two-year deal in Vienna, under which the U.S. would lift all sanctions and Iran would in turn transport all of its uranium to Russia.

Under this agreement Russia would serve as the guarantor of the agreement in the case of the U.S. leaving the deal as it did in 2018. Iran demanded that the U.S. agree to not abruptly withdraw from the deal as it did before, but Washington is unable to do so according to the U,S. Constitution which states that prior commitments cannot be made for a president not yet sworn in.