Iran is approaching the moderate countries in the region

Iran is approaching the moderate countries in the region
Iran is approaching the moderate countries in the region

The recent warming of relations between Iran and a number of moderate countries in the region is a cause for concern in Israel, amid growing frustration in Jerusalem in the face of the so-called “passive” US policy on the nuclear issue, and the expectation that Washington will take more aggressive action against Tehran.

Since the election of the new president, Ibrahim Raisi, Iran has been investing heavily in rebuilding relations with a number of Middle Eastern countries, including those considered moderate. Saudi Arabia is the most prominent of them, and after years of separation between the parties, the possibility of renewing diplomatic relations between the countries is growing, including the opening of consulates. At the same time, relations between Iran and Qatar also warmed up, and a first (and surprising) telephone conversation took place between the new Iranian Foreign Minister, Amir Abdulhian, and his Jordanian counterpart.

PM Bennett with US President Biden // Photo: Avi Ohayon / GPO,

In Israel, these moves are being followed with great concern. They testify not only to the growing security of the Iranians in the regional and international arena – but also to their understanding that the US abandonment of the region creates a significant space for action and influence for them. On its interests in the region.

The issue has been raised in recent weeks on several occasions in contacts between senior Israeli and American officials. The Israeli side clarified that American support and influence was needed to balance the Iranians’ effort to tilt some of the countries in their direction. It is estimated that Washington will try to help Israel and its other allies in the region, but it may also seek to involve some progress in everything related to the Palestinian issue.

The Iranian nuclear facility in Bushehr. Israel is concerned about American “procrastination”, Photo: AFP

“The Americans Are Naive”

Iran’s regional activism is taking place in parallel with the maneuvers it is carrying out to delay its return to talks on the nuclear deal. In recent weeks, Iran has accelerated uranium enrichment activities, although the prevailing assessment in Israel and the West is that this was not done to break into the nucleus, but to obtain additional assets that it could trade to reach an improved agreement with the United States.

In talks between Israel and the United States, the Israeli side was under the impression that the gaps between the parties in evaluating the nuclear project on its various components were greatly reduced. However, the gap between Jerusalem and Washington remained large in terms of conclusions and steps to be taken.

Israel wanted the United States to set a deadline for the Iranians to stop the procrastination in talks, which ended in a clear threat: heavy sanctions, and even a threat of military action. Latest.

Netanyahu at the UN. The assumption that Iran will collapse under the burden of sanctions has been falsified, Photo: Reuters

As a result, there was great frustration in Israel. Not to mention, senior officials have claimed that the Americans are naive, expressing concern that Washington’s ‘passive policy’, as they put it, is being exploited to the full by Iran for significant progress in its nuclear project. In recent days, however, new messages have been sent to Israel, from which it could be understood that Washington’s patience with the procrastination that Iran is taking is about to expire, and that if there is no rapid progress – the Americans will take a series of new diplomatic and economic moves against Iran, its regime and its interests.

Netanyahu’s assumptions were wrong

A senior official estimated yesterday that the Iranians would try to “drag on for a few more weeks” before returning to talks on the nuclear deal. The working assumption is that Iran will not agree to sign a different agreement from the one signed in 2015, in contrast to the Israeli demand to make significant changes to it, especially with regard to the expiration date and various issues related to its supervision. However, it is doubtful whether the administration will insist on changing the agreement, where they have already made it clear that they will work to improve it “up the road”.

The Israeli effort to reach maximum coordination with the United States is due, among other things, to the fact that Israel is left with very few good options. The Netanyahu government’s pressure – which led to the United States withdrawing from the nuclear deal – An improved agreement, and if not – that the US will attack or at least act on it. Keep Iran away from the bomb in the future as well.

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