Israel 'could live with' US-Iran 'mini agreement' on Tehran's nuclear program: reports

Israel 'could live with' US-Iran 'mini agreement' on Tehran's nuclear program: reports
2 min read
14 June, 2023
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly told Knesset lawmakers that Israel 'will be able to handle' a mini-deal between Tehran and Washington over the former's contentious nuclear programme.
Netanyahu has been cranking up his rhetoric on Iran's nuclear programme in recent weeks [Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has informed key Knesset members that the US is approaching a "mini agreement" with Iran over Tehran’s contentious nuclear programme, according to Israeli media reports. 

"What’s on the agenda at the moment between Washington and Tehran is not a nuclear deal, it’s a mini-deal," Netanyahu was reported as saying. 

"We will be able to handle it," he told the Knesset foreign relations and security committee. 

As yet, the Biden administration has not publicly acknowledged the resumption of talks with Iran. 

But US officials confirmed to Reuters on Monday that Washington was in communication with Tehran, with Oman acting as mediator between the two opposing sides.

The US official insisted that there had not been any talks about an interim deal, however.

Live Story

Iran's nuclear negotiator on Tuesday also said he had met with diplomats from three European countries in Abu Dhabi to discuss a number of issues including the country's atomic energy programme.

A landmark deal in 2015, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme to guarantee that Tehran could not develop a nuclear weapon - something it has always denied wanting to do.

On Sunday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in major state policies, reiterated that the country does not seek to acquire a nuclear weapon, adding that agreements could be reached in certain nuclear fields.

Live Story

But Netanyahu has recently ramped up the rhetoric over Iranian nuclear facilities, even threatening pre-emptive strikes. 

Iran has enriched enough uranium to 60 percent fissile purity for two nuclear bombs, if refined further.

"We are committed to acting against Iran's nuclear (drive), against missile attacks on Israel and the possibility of these fronts joining up," said the prime minister earlier in June. 

Attendees at the most recent meeting with Netanyahu, however, suggested that Israel could "live with" an interim agreement between Tehran and Washington, according to the Israeli media reports.