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Israel PM speaks to Germany's Scholz on Iran nuclear deal

August 18, 2022 at 7:40 pm

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on 23 June 2022 [Cem Özdel/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, spoke to German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, on Thursday, pressing Israel’s position that efforts to revive a nuclear deal with Iran should end, a senior Israeli diplomatic official said, Reuters reports.

As well as speaking with Scholz, Lapid spoke to Ted Deutch, Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East Sub-committee and with the US ambassador to Israel, Tom Nide, the official said.

The Head of Israel’s National Security Council, Eyal Hulata, is due to travel to the United States next week for more talks.

The conversations came days after the European Union submitted a “final” draft text, aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal which former US President Donald Trump walked away from in 2018.

In an emailed statement, the Israeli official said the time had come to walk away from the talks with Iran, adding: “Anything else sends a message of weakness.”

READ: US, Israel leaders jointly pledge to deny Iran nuclear weaponry

“Now is the time to sit and talk about what to do going forward, in order to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” the official said.

Israel has repeatedly spoken out against efforts to revive the deal, reserving the right to take military action to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon or against Iranian-backed militant groups in the region.

Iran, which has long denied wanting to develop a nuclear weapon, has warned of a “crushing” response to any Israeli attack.