Israel says free to act with or without Iran deal

Speaking to Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Bennett says Israel not a party to talks or any future agreement reached in Vienna; maintains 'unlimited and unrestricted' freedom to act

Israel will maintain "unrestricted freedom" to act against Iran regardless of any nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Bennett made the comments to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee as an Iranian official said there had been "good progress" towards reviving a 2015 nuclear agreement during negotiations in Vienna.
    2 View gallery
    נפתלי בנט
    נפתלי בנט
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday
    (Photo: GPO)
    "Regarding the nuclear talks in Vienna, we are certainly concerned. It is important for me to say here clearly and unequivocally: Israel is not a party to the agreements," Bennett said.
    "Israel will maintain unlimited and unrestricted freedom of action, everywhere and at all times."
    Negotiations to salvage the nuclear deal resumed in late November after they were suspended in June as Iran elected a new, ultraconservative president.
    The deal - agreed by Iran, the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - offered Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
    2 View gallery
    נציגי איראן והמעצמות סבב שביעי של שיחות על הסכם הגרעין וינה 17 בדצמבר
    נציגי איראן והמעצמות סבב שביעי של שיחות על הסכם הגרעין וינה 17 בדצמבר
    World powers in talks with Iran in Vienna last month
    (Photo: Reuters)
    But then-U.S. president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. in 2018 and re-imposed biting sanctions, prompting Tehran to begin rolling back on its commitments.
    Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Monday that the progress made at the Vienna talks was "the result of the efforts made by all parties to reach a stable agreement", the latest in a series of positive comments on the negotiations.
    Israel has broadly opposed a restoration of the 2015 agreement but high-ranking officials - notably Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid - have indicated Jerusalem could support a deal that it viewed as offering definitive checks on Iran's nuclear ambitions.
    Iran insists its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes.
    The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.