Israel’s Prime Minster Yair Lapid said Sunday the European Union’s proposals for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal diverged from what the Israelis had expected.

Calling the EU’s text of August 8, currently being discussed between the United States and Iran a “bad agreement,” Lapid claimed it had departed from what US President Joe Biden July had told Israel to anticipate.

The Israeli government, presumably after seeing the EU text, was then perturbed. “We told the Americans: ‘This is not what President Biden wanted.’ This is not what he talks about during his visit to the country,” Lapid said.

The Israeli prime minister claimed only last week that Israel had pushed the US into a harder negotiating position over reviving the 2015 agreement, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), which successive Israeli governments have opposed.

But Lapid, four months away from an Israeli election, suggested Sunday that Israel had been unable to “introduce amendments to the agreement” because of a speech made to Congress in March 2015 by former prime minister and political rival Benjamin Netanyahu. While Netanyahu had compared the US and Israel as “promised lands,” US officials slammed as a cheap election ploy his claim that theJCPOA, which came into play July 2015, would ‘guarantee’ Iran a nuclear weapon.

Lapid said the aim of the coalition government that replaced Netanyahu’s administration in 2021, with Lapid as prime minister since July 2022, had been to “fight against the agreement with all our might, but without harming our strategic relations with the US, and without harming their attention to our arguments."

President Joe biden during his visit to Israel on July 14, 2022

Arguments in Israel may intensify as talks to revive the JCPOA have reached what Joseph Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, called the “the crucial moment” in an interview published Sunday with Kronen Zeitung, the leading Austrian newspaper. “I’m optimistic, it’s the last millimeters,” Borrell said. “This [restoring the 2015 agreement] makes the world a little safer.”

Nasser Kanaani, spokesman for the Iranian foreign minister, told the official news agency IRNA Sunday that the latest US input, relayed by the EU August 24, was being reviewed technically and that Tehran would reply “as soon as the summary is formed and the details are checked.” Nour News tweeted this would take until “at least” the end of the week, presumably meaning Friday September 2.

Official news agency dismisses ‘false’ report

Kanaani called for all to respect the confidentiality of talks, which were on a “positive and forward trend” despite a “few remaining issues” that were “sensitive, important and decisive.” IRNA separately quoted an “informed source” criticizing the newspaper Jomhuriyeh Eslami for Sunday’s article claiming Tehran had in the talks demanded that Washington compel “western” companies to trade with Iran.

The newspaper’s story was “totally false,” the source told IRNA, suggesting that Iranian media relaying “wrong claims” from foreign media designed to “put pressure on Iran” were in effect becoming a “base for the enemy.”

Qatar has also continued mediation efforts. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al-Khulaifi, an assistant foreign minister, met Saturday with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani. The Qatari foreign ministry said he had stressed “the importance of advancing further in order to revive the nuclear agreement which is in the interest of the security and stability of the region.” Following discussions with Bagheri Kani, Khulaifi spoke by phone with Enrique Mora, the EU official who has coordinated the nuclear talks.

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G4 Protest Special - Evening (12\')

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