A United States return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal as it is commonly known, is a fait accompli, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.
According to the source, Washington may very well sign an agreement with the Iranians even before the end of President Hassan Rouhani's term when hardliner Ebrahim Raisi is set to take office.
But even if that does not happen, negotiations will continue and the U.S. would continue trying to woo Iranian President-elect Raisi. The Iranian's think Raisi's image as a radical will make it easier for him to reach an agreement with the Americans.
The U.S. ensured Israel that upon revitalizing the JCPOA, they would enter negotiations with Tehran on a tighter, broader and longer agreement on other issues that were not included in the previous nuclear agreement, such as the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program or funding of terrorist proxies across the Middle East.
Israeli officials fear that the Iranians will have no incentive to enter such negotiations, but the Americans have made it clear they could impose new sanctions on Iran unrelated to the current nuclear deal. Israel has not entered talks with the Americans at this stage about the improved agreement, so as not to imply that it is coming to terms with the nuclear deal.
The previous and current governments both concur on the issue but the new administration's manner is less defiant belligerent, which is expected to bode well for the Biden administration.
The senior source has complimented Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for studying the Iranian issue thoroughly and avoiding making rash statements.