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Biden Unwilling to Restore Iran Nuclear Deal Until After Midterm Elections, Israeli Official Says

© AFP 2023 / JIM WATSONUS President Joe Biden speaks about the soul of the nation, outside of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 1, 2022
US President Joe Biden speaks about the soul of the nation, outside of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 1, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.09.2022
The comments seemed to confirm that it’s actually the Biden administration holding up negotiations in Vienna – not Iranian intransigence.
Israel doesn’t believe the US is willing to return to the Iranian nuclear deal before November’s midterm election, an Israeli official reportedly told journalists Sunday.
"At this point in time, it appears that a nuclear agreement with Iran will not be signed at least until after the [US] midterm elections," the anonymous official said, according to Reuters.
The remark lends credence to comments given Thursday by senior US Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), who claimed the Biden administration will ultimately “get a deal because they want a deal so badly,” but noted he doesn’t “think there’s any chance the agreement will be announced before our election, or the Israeli election, because the politics of this agreement are probably not good in either place.”
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid attempted to take credit for the continuing diplomatic stalemate, bragging on Twitter that "Israel is conducting a successful diplomatic drive to halt the nuclear deal and prevent the lifting of sanctions on Iran.”
The comments came as the UK, France and Germany accused Tehran of “continuing to expand its nuclear program far beyond any plausible civilian justification.” Europe has claimed to be playing a neutral role in facilitating indirect talks between Iran and the US, but efforts to lay the blame for the lack of a diplomatic breakthrough squarely at Iran’s feet suggests they may be abandoning the pretense of objectivity.
FILE - The flag of Iran waves in front of the the International Center building with the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, AustriaI, May 24, 2021. On Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, negotiators are gathering in Vienna to resume efforts to revive Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, with hopes of quick progress muted after the arrival of a hard-line new government in Tehran led to a more than five-month hiatus. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter, FILE) - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.09.2022
Iran: Europe's 'Unconstructive' Statement on JCPOA Talks May Undermine Nuclear Deal Revival
Iran’s foreign ministry expressed ‘surprise’ regarding the “unconstructive statement,” writing in a communique published Saturday that it’s “regrettable that the three European countries have taken a step in the path of the Zionist regime to defeat the negotiations with this ill-considered statement.”
Efforts to restore the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have been ongoing since Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump in the Oval Office last year. After Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018, dismissing it as “the worst deal ever,” the Iranian government followed suit and gradually began to reduce its compliance with the terms of the bargain.
Since reconvening in November 2021, negotiators had been expressing increasing optimism about the fate of the deal, and as recently as three weeks ago mainstream outlets including CNBC claimed a breakthrough seemed “closer than ever.”
But with the Biden administration apparently unwilling to risk the potential political pushback ahead of a contentious election season, hopes for restoring the agreement anytime soon are fading fast.
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