Why is the imminent restoration of Iran Nuclear Deal stressing Israel?

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Iran IranPresident of United States, Joe Biden has been engaged in bringing the Iran Nuclear Deal or JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) back on the table. Several rounds of negotiating talks have been conducted to come to a mutual arrangement, which now appear to bore some fruit after months of talks. Experts predict that a new nuclear deal is possible, probably in few coming days. But the new deal is going to hold some new key restrictions, conditions and waiving off of some older ones that were originally part of the Iran nuclear deal that is anyways set to expire in few years.

This modest nuclear deal is the best news for Biden administration since coming to power in January 2020. Disastrous troops withdrawal from Afghanistan that led to rather rapid emergence of Taliban to power – much against predictions of White House – was one of the biggest non-anticipated blow to Biden administration. After that failure to move strongly towards tackling of climate crisis, friction with China and Russia have been the clear ‘failures’ of Biden.

Moving on, Iran Nuclear Deal though much anticipated and welcomed by world leaders, is being condemned by Israel. Israel is a long-time adversary of Iran, specifically due to latter’s rapidly growing nuclear programme. The new Iran nuclear deal, Iran fears, would not be sufficient to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, that it is allegedly quite close to attain. “The emerging deal, as it seems, is highly likely to create a more violent, more volatile Middle East,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said this week.

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JCPOA was formed in 2015 spearheaded by then US President Barack Obama under which Iran was relieved of some harsh economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions over Iran’s nuclear activities for 10-15 years. The arrangement was condemned by then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of being insufficient and temporary to really nip Iran’s nuclear programme. Furthermore, Israel added that the deal did nothing to address Tehran’s non-nuclear activities like supporting regional militias like Houthi group. This is when on Netanyahu’s persuasion, former US President Donald Trump exited from JCPOA in 2018.

Despite long time negotiations over new deal, Iran has shown no interest in looking for a long-term agreement and has demanded waiving off a series of sanctions and restrictions on it. With only few years left for expiration of the nuclear deal, Israel has underlined that it would not do anything substantial to address Iran’s nuclear program even if reinstated. “Iran is going to be more able and confident to do things it has already been doing, with more resources and confidence, and perhaps immunity because it signed a very important agreement,” said Yoel Guzansky, an expert on Iran at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv think tank.

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