Tel Aviv: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he opposes any interim agreement reportedly being negotiated between the US and Iran over its nuclear programme.
Netanyahu spoke after reports in Israeli media said understandings are being reached between Washington and Tehran that would seek to hold back Iran’s nuclear programme somewhat, in exchange for some sanctions relief.
The reports could not be independently confirmed and the US has publicly denied any such deal.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had informed the US that “the most limited understandings, what are termed mini-agreements’, do not – in our view – serve the goal and we are opposed to them as well.”
Israeli officials believe some understandings have already been reached limiting enrichment and that some funds have already been unfrozen.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a confidential diplomatic assessment.
The Israeli news site Walla last week reported that under the emerging understandings Iran would limit its uranium enrichment to 60% in exchange for sanctions relief.
The site also said the sides were discussing reciprocal prisoner releases.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said last week “there is no deal,” adding that the reports were untrue.
In its report, Walla said Netanyahu had revealed details of the agreement at a recent parliamentary committee meeting. The US and Israel share intelligence and a prime focus of the countries’ interactions is Iran and its nuclear programme.
Netanyahu vehemently opposed the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers brokered by the Obama administration that sought to rein in Iran’s nuclear programme.
He was a major supporter of President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the deal, which left it in shambles.
Iran says its programme is meant for civilian purposes.
Israel considers a nuclear Iran as a major threat, citing its calls for Israel’s destruction and its support for anti-Israel militant groups across the region.
Israel says it does not rule out military action to prevent Iran from making a nuclear weapon.