Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid issued an urgent warning against a proposal under consideration by the US and Iran to restore the 2015 nuclear deal.
“On the table right now is a bad deal,” Lapid told here on Wednesday, arguing it will result in Tehran having $100 billion more a year at its disposal due to lifting of sanctions.
“This money will not build schools or hospitals. This is a $100 billion a year that will be used to undermine stability in the Middle East and spread terror around the globe.”
Iran will pour even more money into funding Israel’s enemies, namely the Lebanese Hezbollah militia and the Palestinian militant organisations Hamas and Islamic Jihad, dpa news agency quoted the Prime Minister as saying.
“This money will go to the people who are trying to kill authors and thinkers in New York,” he said, referencing the attack on “The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie.
US law enforcement is still investigating the stabbing, which left Rushdie severely injured.
“Of course, it will be used to strengthen Iran’s nuclear programme,” Lapid said.
In 2018 the US, under then-president Donald Trump, decided to unilaterally leave the agreement and impose new, tough sanctions.
After that, Tehran also no longer saw itself bound by it the document and its nuclear activities have accelerated.
Under EU mediation, representatives from Washington and Tehran have met in fits and starts since US President Joe Biden took office last year.
A potential deal would result in the removal of US sanctions and the reinstatement of restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear programme similar to the 2015 deal.
A compromise proposal was finalized by the EU earlier this month. Iran has submitted to Brussels its written response and the US is expected to do the same soon.
Lapid accused international negotiators of being soft on Tehran: “The Iranians are making demands again. The negotiators are ready to make concessions, again … The countries of the West draw a red line, the Iranians ignore it, and the red line moves.
“Israel is not against any agreement. We are against this agreement, because it is a bad one. Because it cannot be accepted as it is written right now.”
Lapid said he had recently expressed his concern personally to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron.
“We have made it clear to everyone: if a deal is signed, it does not obligate Israel. We will act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state. We are not prepared to live with a nuclear threat above our heads from an extremist, violent Islamist regime.”