Bennett: Israel Won't Be Bound by Future Iran Deal, Will Maintain Freedom of Action

Prime minister says 2015 nuclear agreement was 'like a sleeping pill' for Israel, adds that this would not be the first time Israel has disagreements with 'the best of friends'

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at Reichman University, Herzliya, Tuesday.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at Reichman University, Herzliya, Tuesday.Credit: Hadas Parush
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that Israel will maintain its freedom of action if a new nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers is reached.

"The mistake we made after the first [nuclear] agreement in 2015 will not be repeated," Bennett said at the Security and Policy conference in the Reichman University in Herzliya, formerly known as the Interdisciplinary Center.

"From the moment the deal was signed, it was like a sleeping pill for us," Bennett added. "In any case, even if the deal will be revived, it Israel won't be bound to it."

"We face complicated times. It is possible that there will be disagreements with the best of our friends," Bennett said. "This wouldn't be the first time."

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that U.S. officials have warned Israel that attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities are counterproductive and might be encouraging Tehran to speed up its nuclear program.

Israeli officials have dismissed the warnings, saying they have no plans to stop sabotage attacks on Iranian facilities, according to the report, which cited unnamed officials.

Iran has rapidly resumed operations at facilities damaged by blasts caused by Israeli intelligence, even upgrading them with newer machines allowing faster uranium enrichment, the newspaper said.

Earlier this month, Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said he had agreed with European Union envoy Enrique Mora to renew nuclear talks in Vienna next week.

In April, Tehran and six powers started to discuss ways to salvage the nuclear pact, which has eroded since 2018 when then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from it and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to breach various limits on uranium enrichment set by the pact.

But the talks have been on hold since the election of Iran's hardline President Ebrahim Raisi in June, who is expected to take a tough approach when the talks resume in Vienna.

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