Israeli Prime Minister Goes to Berlin for New Field Against Iran Deal

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Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid left for Germany on Sunday in his latest diplomatic effort to persuade Western powers to cancel a nuclear deal with Iran.

Israel has long resisted a revival of the 2015 accord, which has been doomed since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 and re-imposed corrosive sanctions on Tehran.

The momentum built last month towards a restored accord appears to have slowed after the three European countries party to the accord – Germany, France and Britain – expressed “serious doubts” on Saturday about the sincerity of the deal. Iran in restoring the deal.

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Lapid met his cabinet before flying to Berlin and thanked these three powers for the “strong position” they expressed in a tripartite statement on Saturday.

These powers accused Tehran of “choosing not to seize this crucial diplomatic opportunity”, adding that “Iran instead continues to escalate its nuclear program far beyond any plausible civilian justification”.

Lapid told his cabinet that “Israel is conducting a successful diplomatic campaign to end the nuclear deal and prevent the lifting of sanctions against Iran.

“It’s not over yet,” he added. “There is still a long way to go, but there are encouraging signs.”

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An Israeli diplomatic official, who requested anonymity, told TBEN Iran will be the focus of talks when the delegation lands in Berlin.

“It is important to continue to coordinate positions and influence the European position. Germany has an important role in this,” said the official.

Lapid, who traveled with senior security officials, will meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Secretary of State Annalena Baerbock and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before returning to Israel late Monday.

The 2015 agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curtailing its nuclear program.

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Negotiations underway in Vienna since April 2021 have sought to restore the agreement by lifting sanctions against Tehran and pushing Iran to fully honor its previous nuclear commitments.

Last month, the European Union, which acts as a mediator in the talks, presented a “final” draft of the agreement.

Iran and the US then took turns responding to the text, with Washington saying on Friday that Tehran’s response was a step “backwards”.

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