JERUSALEM, June 17 – In comments that were broadcast on Saturday, a senior politician stated that Israel might reach an acceptable agreement between its arch-enemy Iran and the United States if the arrangement included strict monitoring of Tehran’s nuclear program. This was one of the statements that was made public.
According to reports from Iranian and Western sources, high-level negotiations are currently taking place between Iran and the United States, which is Israel’s most important partner, to discuss potential next steps. These discussions may involve a restriction on Iran’s nuclear program.
These actions would be framed as a “understanding” rather than an agreement that would need to be reviewed by the U.S. Congress, similar to the arrangement that had been reached in 2015 but was later scrapped by the president who held that office at the time, Donald Trump.
“It’s not a wide-scope agreement, it’s more like a small agreement, a memorandum of understanding, an M.O.U., and I think Israel can live with this if there is real supervision,” Yuli Edelstein, the head of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Israeli parliament, said on the program Meet the Press on Channel 12 in Israel. Edelstein is a member of the Israeli Knesset and serves as the committee’s chairman.
The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment on whether or not fellow Likud party member Edelstein’s statements mirrored the views of the prime minister.
On Tuesday, before briefing the committee on foreign affairs and defense, Netanyahu made statements that were broadcasted to the public and said, “Our stance is clear. Israel, which will do whatever that is necessary to defend itself, will not be bound by any arrangement it reaches with Iran.I believe that our resistance to the deal, which is a return to the deal that was in place in 2015, is bearing fruit.
“However, there are still certain variations in perspective, and we do not try to disguise these, even with regard to the more minor accords. Netanyahu has stated that his team has been quite clear about their stance throughout both private and public discussions.
The extent to which Iran would agree to limit the amount of uranium enrichment it conducts is one of the most important aspects of the potential agreement that is not yet evident. This month, Israeli officials in Netanyahu’s inner circle have expressed perspectives on the matter that are possibly at odds with one another.
Tzachi Hanegbi, the national security advisor to Netanyahu, stated that Israel did not see as much “damage” in any new agreement as there was in the 2015 deal, but that it was “poised” for any Iranian transition to more than 60% fissile purity. This statement was made by Hanegbi.
“That would already be a clear acknowledgment that the uranium enrichment is for weapons needs,” Hanegbi stated in an interview that was published on Friday in the daily Israel Hayom. He was referring to the 90% fissile purity need for a bomb. “That would already be a clear acknowledgment that the uranium enrichment is for weapons needs.”
However, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, who accompanied Hanegbi to Washington for talks about Iran, expressed concerns about any “freeze” of existing enrichment levels in the last week. Hanegbi was also present for these discussions.
“What it means is that you accept a higher level of enrichment in Iran,” the official said. He stated this when speaking at the AJC Global Forum in Tel Aviv, “And we thought that was a bad idea then, and we think that it’s a bad idea today.”
After failing to resurrect the agreement from 2015, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is hoping to impose some new restrictions on Iran in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear weapon that may endanger Israel and set off an arms race in the area.
Reports that the United States administration is pursuing an interim arrangement with Tehran, which denies seeking the bomb, have been refuted by the government of the United States.