Bennett has the answers on Iran, but is anyone listening? – analysis

GLASGOW – Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was in Scotland this week for the UN Climate Change Conference and had a lot to say on the subject and on the contribution of Israeli innovation to the fight, etcetera.

But diplomatically, the summit was an opportunity for Bennett to spread other messages in one-on-one meetings with leaders from around the world.

Unsurprisingly, the top item on Bennett’s non-climate agenda, which he brought up in each of his bilateral meetings this week, was Iran. Those talks came at a critical juncture, in which Tehran continued to avoid negotiations, uniting the world with vague and evasive statements about when it will return to the table, while rapidly developing its nuclear program towards the breaking point.

Advances in uranium enrichment are something that the Western powers that were part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action acknowledge, and the leaders of the US and E3 (France, Germany and the UK) expressed this in his statement at the G20 in Rome several days ago.

“While Iran stopped negotiations on the return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] Since June, it has accelerated the pace of provocative nuclear measures, such as the production of highly enriched uranium and enriched uranium metal. Iran has no credible civilian need for either measure, but both are important to nuclear weapons programs, ”they said.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, November 1, 2021 (credit: COURTESY).

Bennett met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron at this strategically awkward moment, as they face the failure of their repeated attempts to engage as Iran races toward a nuclear weapon.

His message to them and all the other leaders he met: Put more pressure on. Take a hard line against Iran in the UN Security Council, in the International Atomic Energy Agency, in bilateral relations.

Bennett says that returning to the 2015 JCPOA is a mistake and will have the opposite effect as they seek. He told leaders that removing sanctions only means that Iran will have more money to finance its regional aggression.

And Bennett tells them that Israel has designated billions of shekels in the new state defense budget, with a focus on new operational plans to counter the Iranian threat.

“If I’m not for me, who will it be?” Said a diplomatic source, using the Hillel proverb to describe Bennett’s opinion on the preparation for possible independent Israeli action against Iran.

But at the same time, the US and E3 made it clear that they are waiting for a negotiated solution for Iran to return to the JCPOA and then continue with diplomacy.

“We are convinced that it is possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a return to full compliance and ensure in the long term that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes,” the statement read. “We call on President Raisi to seize this opportunity and return to a good faith effort to conclude our negotiations urgently. That is the only sure way to avoid a dangerous escalation, which does not benefit any country ”.

As Iran continues to enrich uranium, the US and E3 are trying to come up with a strategy of carrots and sticks to get Iran back into negotiations, but so far they have only gone so far as to implore Iran to come back to the table. Of course, US sanctions are still in play, but so far they have not convinced Iran.

Bennett would like to see more clubs, and he told everyone he met.

People want to hear Bennett’s stance on Iran, the diplomatic source said. They agree to continue the dialogue in the future.

But are they really listening? For now, it appears that the US and E3 are sticking to their plan A, despite indications that it is not working.

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