Vienna negotiations resume today, and Biden discusses with Bennett ways to stop the Iranian nuclear program

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Negotiations to return to the nuclear agreement will resume Monday in the Austrian capital (Vienna), after US President Joe Biden discussed this file by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and Bennett warned of a “heavy price” for the agreement on the current conditions.

A White House statement said that Biden, in a phone call with Bennett, discussed common security and other challenges in the Middle East, including the threat posed by Iran and its proxies, according to the statement.

The White House added that Biden affirmed his commitment to expanding stability and partnerships across the Middle East, alongside Israelis and Palestinians.

He noted that Biden and Bennett also discussed other global challenges, including the possibility of further Russian aggression against Ukraine.

For his part, Bennett said – in a statement – that he and Biden discussed ways to stop Iran’s nuclear program, and they also talked about tension between Russia and Ukraine.

Bennett indicated that he congratulated President Biden on the US raid that killed the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, in northern Syria.

Bennett added in the statement that he thanked Biden for his support of Israel and invited him to visit.

In its statement, the White House said Biden told Bennett that he looked forward to a visit later this year, and that he also assured Bennett of his “full support” for the renewal of the Iron Dome missile defense system.

A meeting between Biden (right) and Bennett at the White House last August (European)

Israel’s threats

On Sunday, Bennett said, at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting, “Iran is at the forefront of the threats to the State of Israel, and we are closely following the developments in the Vienna talks. Our position is known and clear, to the effect that the agreement with its current conditions will harm efforts to deal with the nuclear program.”

He added, “Whoever considers this agreement as a factor promoting stability is mistaken, it would only temporarily postpone the enrichment field… But all of us in this region will pay a heavy and disproportionate price in return,” stressing that Israel will retain freedom of action whether with or without the agreement, according to his expression.

The Israeli Prime Minister considered that Iran has been intensifying its aggressive behavior and practice of terrorism over the past weeks, especially in the current negotiations, adding, “This is how negotiations are going on the Iranian way.”

Iran’s position

The resumption of negotiations on Monday comes after the United States announced the work of exemptions related to Tehran’s civilian nuclear program.

On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Abdullahian said that Washington had announced its good intentions, but it had not presented serious and practical initiatives in the negotiations.

He added, “There are no US tribal conditions, and the Vienna negotiations are based on the views of experts.”

In a tweet on Twitter, the Secretary of the Iranian National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said on Sunday that despite the limited progress in the Vienna talks on the nuclear deal, achieving a balance in the obligations between the parties is still a long way off.

Shamkhani – a former defense minister – added that the United States should take the necessary political decisions to find a balance in the commitments and obligations between the two parties, in order to reach a “good agreement.”

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