Three Biden administration negotiators working on trying to get Iran to enter a nuclear deal have left the team because they reportedly believed that Democrat President Joe Biden was being too soft on Iran.
“U.S. officials confirmed over the weekend that Richard Nephew, the deputy special envoy for Iran, has left the team. Mr. Nephew, an architect of previous economic sanctions on Iran, had advocated a tougher posture in the current negotiations, and he hasn’t attended the talks in Vienna since early December,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Two other members of the team, which is led by State Department veteran Robert Malley, have stepped back from the talks, the people familiar said, because they also wanted a harder negotiating stance.”
The team has been divided over disagreements on how strictly existing sanctions should be enforced and at what point it should walk away from the table as some experts warn that Iran is trying to prolong talks while they continue to work on their nuclear program.
“The divisions come at a pivotal time, with U.S. and European officials warning that only a few weeks remain to rescue the 2015 deal before Iran acquires the know-how and capability to quickly produce enough nuclear fuel for a bomb,” the report added. “Under the agreement, the U.S. lifted most international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for strict but temporary limits on Iran’s nuclear work. The Trump administration exited the agreement, seeing it as insufficient to restrain Iran, and the Biden administration is trying to reverse course.”
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett signaled to the world late last year that Israel was preparing to take action against Iran as it rapidly neared the point of having enough nuclear material to build a nuclear bomb, something that he vowed Israel would never allow to happen.
“Iran’s nuclear weapon program is at a critical point. All red lines have been crossed. Inspections — ignored. All wishful-thinking — proven false,” he said at the United Nations. “Iran is currently violating the IAEAs safeguard agreements — and it’s getting away with it. They harass inspectors and sabotage their investigations — and they’re getting away with it. They enrich Uranium to the level of 60 percent, which is only one step short of weapons-grade material — and they’re getting away with it.”
“Evidence which clearly proves Iran’s intentions for nuclear weapons in secret sites in Turquzabad, Teheran & Marivan — is ignored,” he continued. “Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment. And so has our tolerance.”
“Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning. There are those in the world who seem to view Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, as a done deal, or they’ve just become tired of hearing about it,” Bennett added. “Israel doesn’t have that privilege. We cannot tire. We will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”