America’s Middle East allies unite against Iran
The renewal of indirect talks last week between the United States and Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—appears to have escalated tensions in the Middle East, as Israel makes it clear to its ally that it will not accept Iranian nuclear capability.
Israeli media reported on Sunday that its Mossad intelligence agency was behind a blackout on Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear facility in what seems to be a major setback for its nuclear program.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, blamed Israel and called the act a “desperate move” and “nuclear terrorism,” reported the AP.
The sabotage of the Iranian nuclear facility also could add difficulties to the U.S.-Iran negotiations.
John Hannah, a senior fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, told JNS that at the heart of the administration’s plan to rejoin the JCPOA, none of President Joe Biden’s advisers want to admit that there is no deal without removing terrorism-related sanctions.
“The fact is there’s no way back to the deal unless the United States is willing to accept Iran’s demand that massive sanctions relief be granted to the central pillars of its regionwide terrorist enterprise: its Central Bank, oil sector and the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps],” he said. “There’s no escaping the reality that at the core of the administration’s Iran strategy is a devil’s bargain that will funnel billions of dollars into Iran’s imperial project across the Middle East in exchange for little more than a temporary reprieve from Iran’s relentless march towards nuclear-weapons capability.”
The renewed talks come as tensions remain high with Israel and other Arabs states, and as the International Atomic Energy Agency continues to chart Iran’s growing nuclear advances.
Read More: JNS