By Erin Viner
“The first round of talks between Iran and the major powers in Vienna has ended without results,” the Israeli leader said at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting according to a statement TV7 obtained from the Prime Minister’s Media Advisor.
After a 5 month suspension in efforts to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action last week in Vienna, representatives from France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China returned to their capitals for consultations over the weekend.
“The Iranians, as expected, are proficient negotiators. They backtracked from previous agreements and came with a very strong and thuggish approach,” said Prime Minister Bennett, in a visible demonstration of his previous warning against “nuclear blackmail” perpetrated by Tehran.
Bennett called on “every country negotiating with Iran in Vienna to take a strong line and make it clear to Iran that it is impossible to negotiate and enrich uranium at the same time.”
“It is a very serious step” that the Ayatollah regime has begun to enrich uranium up to 20% purity in advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility, according to the latest reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency – while simultaneously conducting negotiations in Vienna, underscored the Prime Minister.
Israeli Foreign Minister and Alternate Premier Yair Lapid has just returned from a round of talks in Europe on the Iranian nuclear dispute, and both the country’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad Director David Barnea will depart for Washington at the end of this week to continue dealing with the matter in talks with their American counterparts.
“Our goal is to utilize the window of opportunity that has opened between the rounds in order to tell our friends in the US: This is precisely the time to use a different toolkit against Iran’s galloping forward in the enrichment sphere,” said Bennett.
Underscoring that, “Iran must start paying for its violations,” the Israeli leader insisted that, “The goal of the Iranian regime is the lifting of sanctions. For this they went to Vienna with dozens of advisors and sanctions experts, because this their goal: The ability to do what they are doing now regarding terrorism and in the nuclear sphere, only this time they want to be strengthened by tens of billions of dollars and a tailwind for all of their activity.”
Revealing that Israel is “holding an intensive dialogue on this matter with the Americans, the British, the French, Russia and others,” he added that “Our strength is in our unity.”
“A bad deal with the Iranians will have implications for our national security,” stated Prime Minister Bennet, concluding by referring to the biblical passage Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 by saying, “There is a time for everything. A time to keep silent and a time to speak. Now is the time to speak.”