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Return to Iran nuclear deal better than no deal, Israel military official says

Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, Aharon Haliva [@INSSIsrael/Twitter]
Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, Aharon Haliva [@INSSIsrael/Twitter]

A return to the Iran nuclear deal is better than not having a deal, the Jerusalem Post reported Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence, Aharon Haliva, saying.

The paper quoted Israeli news website Walla reporting Haliva saying in a meeting that the restrictions on Iran's nuclear programme within the framework of the deal are better for Israel than total non-compliance with the agreement.

This stance, it added, opposes Mossad chief David Barnea's who was reported not to support the deal.

On Monday, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid expressed opposition to the potential return to the deal, saying that the Vienna talks being held to revive it "won't reach an optimal result as far as we're concerned."

"We are not against any agreement," Lapid said. "We are at the negotiating table with the superpowers and holding discussions on what a good agreement is. There is attention in the world to the Israeli position."

The eighth round of nuclear talks began in the Austrian capital Vienna on 28 December. Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 agreement in 2018 and imposed unprecedented sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iran has since reduced its compliance with the nuclear deal, known as JCPOA.

READ: US, Israel seek common ground in confronting Iran's nuclear programme

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