IR6 centrefuges in Natanz
Advanced IR6 centrifuges in Iran's Natanz nuclear power plant
Photo:MCT
The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, in Vienna, Austria

Israel again urges hard line against Iran at nuclear talks

Bennett says revived negotiations with Iran on 2015 nuclear agreement must see Tehran not only cease further uranium enrichment, but also end its military entrenchment in the region

Associated Press |
Published: 12.05.21, 13:30
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday urged world powers to take a hard line against Iran in negotiations to curb the country's nuclear program, as his top defense and intelligence officials headed to Washington amid the flailing talks.
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  • Israel has been watching with concern as world powers sit down to jump-start talks on the tattered nuclear deal with Iran, who last week struck its own hard line as talks resumed in Vienna, suggesting everything discussed in previous rounds of diplomacy could be renegotiated.
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    The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a board of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria
    The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a board of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria
    The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, in Vienna, Austria
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Iran also isn't slowing down the advances in its atomic program, further raising the stakes in the talks, which are crucial to cooling years of tensions boiling in the wider Mideast.
    Talks in Vienna aimed at re-imposing curbs on Iran's nuclear program restarted last week after a more than five-month hiatus.
    Israel has long opposed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, saying it didn't go far enough to halt the country's nuclear program and doesn't address Iran's military involvement in countries bordering Israel.
    3 View gallery
    IR6 centrefuges in Natanz
    IR6 centrefuges in Natanz
    Advanced IR6 centrifuges in Iran's Natanz nuclear power plant
    (Photo:MCT)
    "I call on every country negotiating with Iran in Vienna to take a strong line and make it clear to Iran that they cannot enrich uranium and negotiate at the same time," Bennett told a meeting of his Cabinet. "Iran must begin to pay a price for its violations."
    Israel is not a party to the negotiations but it has made a point of keeping up lines of communication with its European and American allies during the talks, which are set to resume this week.
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    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט נואם
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט נואם
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett
    (Photo: GPO)
    Mossad chief David Barnea, meanwhile, headed to Washington late Saturday on a previously unannounced trip, while Defense Minister Benny Gas expected to leave Wednesday for meetings with his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was in London and Paris last week to discuss the talks with Israel's European allies.
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