Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Photograph:( Reuters )
Indirect talks between Iran and the United States on salvaging the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed a week ago in Vienna
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that the country is not bound by Iran's agreement with world powers.
"In regards to the nuclear talks in Vienna, we are certainly concerned. It is important for me to say here clearly and unequivocally: Israel is not a party to the agreements," Bennett said.
"Israel will maintain unlimited and unrestricted freedom of action, everywhere and at all times," Bennett said.
Indirect talks between Iran and the United States on salvaging the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed a week ago in Vienna.
Tehran has taken a hard stance in the negotiations, suggesting everything discussed in previous rounds of diplomacy could be renegotiated and demanding sanctions relief even as it ramps up its nuclear programme.
France's foreign minister said on Friday that progress had been made, although time is running out.
Tehran’s landmark 2015 accord granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. But in 2018, then-President Donald Trump withdrew America from the deal and imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran. The other signatories have struggled to keep the agreement alive.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Monday that the progress made at the Vienna talks was "the result of the efforts made by all parties to reach a stable agreement", the latest in a series of positive comments on the negotiations. The country insists its nuclear programme is solely for civilian purposes.
Bennett has urged negotiators to tow a firmer line against Iran. Israel is not a party to the talks but has engaged in a blitz of diplomacy on the sidelines in an attempt to sway allies to put more pressure on Iran to rein in its nuclear programme.
It says it wants an improved deal that places tighter restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and addresses Iran’s long-range missile programme and its support for hostile proxies along Israel’s borders.
(With inputs from agencies)