Israel reserves right to act against Iran’s n-project: FM Lapid

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that his country reserves the right to act against Iran’s nuclear programme “anywhere and anytime”.

Lapid, also the alternate Prime Minister, told a meeting of his centrist Yesh Atid party on Monday that he clarified this policy to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their meeting in Rome on Sunday.

During the first meeting between the two leaders since Israel’s new government was sworn in on 13 June, Lapid told Blinken that Israel has “quite a few reservations” about the Iran nuclear deal being drafted in the Austrian capital Vienna.

He said Israel wishes to discuss these issues within “a direct professional conversation” with the US.

Lapid and his partner in Israel’s cross-partisan coalition, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, oppose the emerging renewed nuclear deal.

They have been pursuing a more balanced approach that includes coordination and dialogue with US President Joe Biden’s administration on this issue.

On 20 June, Bennett had said Ebrahim Raisi becoming the new Iranian President was a “final wake-up call” for the world powers not to renew the the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Prime Minister said that Raisi’s victory is “perhaps a last-minute signal before returning to the nuclear agreement to understand with whom they are doing business and what kind of regime they are choosing to strengthen”.

He added that Iran must not possess nuclear weapons and this is the “clear and consistent position of Israel”.

Like his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett is an opponent of the renewal of the nuclear deal between the world powers and Iran.

In his first address to Parliament on 14 June, Bennett, a nationalist leader of an eight-party diverse coalition, said that the emerging deal is a “mistake” and that his country “will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons”.

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