Germany regretted on Monday that Tehran had not responded positively to European proposals to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, highlighting the slim prospects of reaching one soon, as Israel urged action to prevent Iran from become a nuclear weapons state.
After European powers expressed frustration at Tehran’s claims over the deal, Iran said Monday it was ready to continue cooperating with the UN nuclear watchdog.
But also, the spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Kanaani, urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “not to give in to Israel’s pressure” on Tehran’s nuclear activities.
The Islamic republic unveiled a drone capable of hitting major cities in Israel, which has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to salvage the 2015 nuclear pact.
France, the United Kingdom and Germany said on Saturday they had “serious doubts” about Iran’s intentions to reactivate the agreement that curbs its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions, comments that Tehran rejected as “very inappropriate”. by Moscow.
The IAEA Board of Governors meets on Monday, three months after adopting a resolution urging Iran to provide credible responses to the agency’s investigations into traces of uranium at three sites in Iran. Iran says the investigations are politically motivated.
“Iran announces its constructive cooperation with the agency as an obligation… Although Iran has obligations, it also has rights,” Kanaani told a televised news conference.
“Naturally, Iran expects constructive actions from the IAEA and members of its governing body.”
After 16 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on August 8 that the bloc had submitted a final offer to break the deadlock on reviving the deal.
Earlier this month, Iran sent its latest response to the EU’s proposed text. Western diplomats said it was a step backwards, as Tehran sought to link the revival of the agreement with the closure of IAEA investigations into uranium traces.
Kanaani called Saturday’s European statement “unconstructive.”
“Both the United States and Europe should show that they do not prioritize the interests of the Zionist regime (Israel) when making political decisions,” he said.
Israel, which is believed to possess the only nuclear weapons in the Middle East but views Iran as an existential threat, says it will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomacy fails to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Iran has promised a “crushing” response to any Israeli aggression.
The head of Iran’s ground forces, Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari, said Monday that Tehran has developed an advanced long-range drone “designed to hit Tel Aviv and Haifa in Israel,” the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
The director of Israel’s Mossad spy service, David Barnea, warned Iran’s clerical leaders not to “resort to force against Israel or Israelis.”
“The Iranian leadership must be aware that resorting to force against Israel or the Israelis, directly from Iran or through intermediaries, will find a painful response against those responsible, on Iranian soil,” Barnea said in a speech delivered Monday at the Reichman University, near Tel Aviv.
“This will happen in Tehran, in Kermanshah, in Isfahan,” he added, referring to areas in Iran where authorities have reported sabotage operations against facilities or personnel linked to the country’s military or nuclear programs.