The latest P5+1 talks in Geneva ended with no deal between Western powers and Iran, but a U.S. offer to Iran of mitigated sanctions in exchange for temporarily reduced uranium enrichment has accentuated America’s policy differences with Israel.
According to the U.S. deal, Iran would reportedly receive sanctions relief if it suspended enrichment to the 20-percent level that approaches weapons capability for six months. Iran could still enrich to 3.5 percent.
The U.S. deal differs from Israeli policy in a number of areas: it is a temporary deal when Israel wants a permanent deal; limits uranium enrichment to a certain level when Israel wants all enrichment to cease; and allows continued construction at Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor (producing plutonium), which Israel wants dismantled.
“[The deal] is dangerous for world peace because it lowers the pressure of sanctions that took years to build while on the other hand, Iran, in practice, retains its nuclear enrichment capability as well as the ability to advance along the plutonium track,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
France also opposed the U.S. deal, with its foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, telling France Inter Radio, “The security concerns of Israel and all the countries of the region have to be taken into account.”