Ram Ben-Barak, head of Israeli parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, and Prime Minister Yair Lapid

Ram Ben-Barak, head of Israeli parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, and Prime Minister Yair Lapid

Western Powers Can Get Better Iran Deal, Israeli Lawmaker Says

Friday, 09/02/2022

Israel believes Western powers can reach a better nuclear deal with Iran, a senior lawmaker said on Friday, as attempts to revive a 2015 pact continue with no final deal yet.

"We must draft a much better deal with a much longer stick. And this is what we're not seeing," Ram Ben-Barak, head of parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, said in a radio interview in Israel.

Tehran's insistence that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) close its probes into uranium traces found at three undeclared sites before the nuclear pact is revived is one key hurdle.

After 16 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington, the European made a proposal in August but key differences remain between Iran and the US.
The open probes and future inspection were Israel's main concerns with the current deal, Ben-Barak said.

"We must get honest and real answers about what they did there," he said.
Ben-Barak, who once served as deputy director of Israel's Mossad spy agency, said Iran is not as strong as some people may think and has been struggling under sanctions. This could lead Tehran to give up on its nuclear ambitions entirely, whether by diplomacy or military power, he added.

Israel has pledged never to allow Iran to obtain atomic weapons, saying Tehran advocates its destruction. Iran denies ever seeking nuclear arms.

"What Israel wants is something better in place of this deal. Something better means telling the Iranians 'listen, you will not have a nuclear program'," he said.


Reporting by Reuters

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