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Representatives pose after Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations, July 14, 2015.(Photo by: REUTERS)
Expert: Iran not likely to renegotiate nuclear deal, Israel likely to act
By REUTERS
04/30/2018
Faced with mounting pressure, Iran has threatened to resume 20 percent uranium enrichment if the US leaves the deal.
It will be very difficult to persuade Iran to renegotiate the nuclear deal despite arguments from the United States that its flaws must be addressed, said an Israeli expert on Israel-Iran relations.

With the May 12 deadline approaching for the six world powers to approve recertification of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), there is concern that US President Donald Trump will follow through with his threats to tear up the agreement.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both made separate visits to Washington D.C. recently to encourage Trump to remain in the deal.

Iran and the P5+1, which consists of Great Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, reached a comprehensive agreement in July 2015. According to the deal, Iran has agreed to halt its nuclear weapons program in exchange for economic aid and the lifting of international sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the deal.

After the Trump administration came into power, the US continued to make threats that it would tear up the deal. Trump even went as far as to replace his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, with former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo to exert more pressure on the Iranian nuclear issue. Pompeo, who was recently sworn in to his new post, then headed to Israel to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledging to deepen the long-standing alliance and counter "Iran's aggression".

The two met at the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, as part of Pompeo's first official visit to the country.

Referring to Trump's position on the deal, Pompeo said Trump has been clear that the deal's flaws should be fixed, or the US will withdraw from it.

Faced with mounting pressure, Iran has threatened to resume 20 percent uranium enrichment if the US leaves the deal.

Raz Tzimmt, an expert on Israel-Iran relations, said it will be very difficult to persuade Iran to renegotiate.

"I think it will be very difficult if not impossible to persuade the Iranians to renegotiate the deal. I mean the perception in Iran is that Iran has already given up some part of its capabilities during the negotiations with P5+1 and the United States. So I think it will be almost impossible to believe that under no circumstances, including more economic pressure on Iran, Iran, and especially Supreme Leader Khamenei, is going to agree for a better deal," said Tzimmt.

Tzimmt said if Iran resumes its nuclear activity, Israel will possibly take action, with military options most likely on the table.

"In case Iran breaks out for nuclear weapons and quits the NPT and expels the IAEA inspectors from Iran, that would mean that Iran is not just after resuming its nuclear activity, but about its bomb. And then I think we could expect Israel to take more radical actions, including military options against Iran, because Israel has always made it very clear that it will not allow Iran to become a nuclear military state," said Tzimmt.
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