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Remember this: it will be Israel, not Iran, which destroys any new nuclear deal

82 13 15

World leaders have been trying desperately to salvage the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal between Iran and the P5 countries: the US, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany. The seventh round of talks in Vienna ended on Friday with very little to suggest that the main parties will agree to reviving the deal.

Washington's refusal to lift all Western sanctions on Iran is a major sticking point, as is Tehran's demand for guarantees that no future US administration will be able to abandon the deal. It's a position that seems reasonable given how we got to this stage. The US and its European allies, however, say that they cannot agree to such a commitment and have accused Iran of reneging on pledges it made during the previous round of negotiations. While the talks hang in the balance, a parallel debate has flared up over who's to blame for the mess.

It was former US President Donald Trump who, in 2018, walked away unilaterally from the deal stitched together painstakingly by his predecessor, Barack Obama. Even at the time, the decision was regarded widely as reckless, but few bothered to point out that it was one of Trump's many gifts to Israel.

Predictably there has been much finger-pointing at Israel, although those looking to blame the occupation state are not its usual critics; pro-Israel commentators and former officials of the state are among them. Trump's decision "was one of the dumbest, most poorly thought out and counterproductive US national security decisions of the post-Cold War era," wrote Thomas Friedman in the New York Times, for example.

Read: The rise of 'pro-Israelism' in American politics

Friedman is no dove. He has used his influential platform with the NYT to defend Israel and justify US imperialism, including support for the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq. On the nuclear issue, though,........

© Middle East Monitor

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