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Israel Could Accept Iran Nuclear Deal: Defense Minister

Israel Could Accept Iran Nuclear Deal: Defense Minister

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, speaking to Foreign Policy in an interview published Tuesday, said Israel could accept a new deal between Iran and the world powers on limiting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. This makes Gantz the most senior Israeli official to date to express support for the diplomatic approach favored by the Biden administration. “The current US approach of putting the Iran nuclear program back in a box, I’d accept that,” Gantz said. Then-Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lobbied heavily against the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration, and supported the 2018 US abrogation of the deal under the Trump administration. An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesperson clarified that Gantz is not calling for a return to the JCPOA, but is open to a stronger and more long-term deal. Gantz also referred in the interview to a “viable US-led Plan B” involving American, European, Russian, and Chinese political, diplomatic, and economic pressure on Tehran, as well as an Israeli “Plan C” – a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. “If push comes to shove, we’ll get there,” he said, adding: “We’re not America, but we have our capabilities.”

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