Yedioth Ahronoth: Washington and Tehran are on their way to a new nuclear agreement


Israeli officials told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that the possibility of the United States and Iran reaching an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program is increasing, adding that Washington will try to give Tel Aviv guarantees in preparation for reaching an agreement with Iran.

Since April 2021, Iran and the major powers have engaged in talks aimed at reviving the agreement, in which the United States has indirectly participated. Although progress was achieved in these talks, they did not reach the stage of understanding to reactivate the agreement.

The newspaper stated that Washington is in talks with Iran through Gulf mediators, supervised by the American side, Brett McGurk, who is considered close to the US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan. Iran.

The American side keeps the diplomatic channel open with Tehran, hoping to dissuade the Iranians from intensifying uranium enrichment to a degree of purity of 90%, which is the degree required for fissile material used in making weapons, thus avoiding a military clash.

The talks also touch – according to the newspaper – on other matters, such as the exchange of prisoners and attempts to reach peaceful understandings in various fields.

The newspaper says that Tehran is not enthusiastic about reaching an interim agreement, and wants to return to the original 2015 agreement, from which the United States withdrew under President Donald Trump in 2018.

However, Washington opposes returning to the original agreement, especially in light of Iran’s involvement in the Russian war on Ukraine, according to the newspaper.

Israeli officials believe that the Iranians will not agree to a new nuclear deal, because some of the main provisions of the 2015 agreement will expire by 2025, so the two sides may reach an agreement on a prisoner exchange and the release of Iranian assets frozen under international sanctions, especially in Iraq and South Korea.

In exchange, Iran will have to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency to restore control over nuclear facilities and stop uranium enrichment.

The newspaper says that Tel Aviv has sent a stern message to Washington and other members of the international community, that the military threat to Iran will be more effective than the diplomacy that Israeli officials claim that Tehran is using to buy time and continue the push towards obtaining nuclear weapons.

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