Israel no longer has the ability to influence the discussions going on in Vienna to reach a new agreement over Iran's nuclear programme, Haaretz reported on Monday. Nevertheless, the Israeli government has been making great efforts to influence the talks between the signatories to the original 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"Essentially, during the nuclear talks there are only two options," one Israeli official involved in the talks told the newspaper. "Either returning to the original nuclear agreement or not returning to it. There is no other option."
In recent months, Israel has been active on several fronts in order to intensify the pressure on Iran. Officials have been trying to persuade Washington to maintain US sanctions on Iran. They are not part of the potential deal.
At the same time, Israel has been trying to persuade the US to allow the option of an attack on Iran and its nuclear facilities. The government in Tehran insists that its nuclear programme is intended for peaceful purposes only.
Israel is desperate to remain the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East. It has not signed up to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, nor does it allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities.