Iran thinks Israeli efforts are 'futile' amid Vienna talks - analysis

Iran believes that the talks may outflank Israeli warnings and it hopes the US will call what it sees as Israel’s bluff. 

Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building, housing IAEA headquarters, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021. (photo credit: LISI NIESNER/ REUTERS)
Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building, housing IAEA headquarters, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021.
(photo credit: LISI NIESNER/ REUTERS)

One of Iran’s leading pro-government media outlets called Israeli efforts surrounding the Vienna talks “futile,” an apparent reference to Iranian regime optimism.

“The Zionists, who had recently called for a halt to the talks with their American counterpart and were trying to disrupt the talks by spreading false news about Iran’s nuclear activities, remained silent,” Fars News said.

Iran has also paid close attention to Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s trip to the US. “The Israeli minister of war, while repeating baseless claims against Iran and the threat he poses to the regime, claimed that Tel Aviv was preparing for any scenario. In a conversation with the US secretary of state, the Israeli foreign minister also demanded that the sanctions against Iran not be lifted.”

Tehran says Israel is trying to “obstruct” the process and kill the deal.

“It should be noted that US officials, on the one hand, have imposed new sanctions on Iran during the negotiations, and are consulting with [Israel] regime officials, who have spared no effort to destroy [the Iran deal].” Iran’s report says European powers coming to Vienna had been considered tough on Iran, but that upon re-entering this round of talks they have “accepted the facts in the face of Iranian pragmatism.”

DELEGATIONS CONVENE for a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, yesterday. (credit: REUTERS)DELEGATIONS CONVENE for a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna, yesterday. (credit: REUTERS)

“The negotiators were able to resolve some of the misunderstandings we encountered at the end of last week and began practical work,” Russia’s envoy to Vienna said in response to a statement from the senior EU official.

Iran’s regime appears to believe the three European states that are present are moving closer to the Iranian position. “Consultations were held in Vienna on Friday, December 10, at various levels in the two areas of lifting sanctions and nuclear issues, and Ali Bagheri met with the Russian representative and Austrian foreign minister.”

Iran is pushing a new narrative this week, after being non-plussed a week ago about the talks. Now it sees the possibility for a good and serious agreement, the report says.

“It is worth mentioning that considering these circumstances, it can be said that it is the other side that has backed down from its demands, not Iran.” Iran believes the EU wants to move faster with the talks, and it sees recent statements in Europe as well as recent talks with Russia as key to moving things forward.

In essence, Iran believes the talks may outflank Israeli warnings, and hopes the US will call what it sees as Israel’s bluff.