Graphic shows events since the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.


Israel could back Iran nuclear deal

By Duncan Mil

January 7, 2022 - The head of Israeli military intelligence, Major General Aharon Haliva, told ministers during a Cabinet meeting on Sunday (January 2) that Israel would be better off if the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna led to a deal, rather than collapsing without one.

Before the Iranian Revolution -- and the rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini -- Israel was an enthusiastic military partner with Iran. At the time, Iran was the only Middle Eastern country that recognized Israel’s right to exist.

In 1977, an Israeli-Iranian project code-named “Operation Flower” was one of several oil-for-arms contracts signed in Tehran by the Shah and Shimon Peres, then the Israeli Defence Minister. Operation Flower was a joint Israeli-Iranian effort to develop an intermediate-range, surface-to-surface missile. In addition, the deal offered a guaranteed oil supply to Israel.

In July 2015, Iran agreed to a long-term deal on its nuclear programme with the U.S., UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed to limit nuclear activities and allow international inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions. The JCPOA was President Barack Obama’s top foreign policy priority.

In May 2018, President Donald Trump quit the deal, reinstating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Iran’s economy plummets into recession, with gross domestic product plunging from $445bn in 2017 to $250bn last year.

After winning the November 2020 U.S. presidential election, President-elect Joe Biden pledges to rejoin the nuclear deal so long as Iran also comes back into compliance. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responds, saying Iran can restore the agreement. “We’ll be back where we were,” he states.

Now that Israel’s Operations Directorate supports a potential deal, Haliva’s comments suggest backing from a regional power previously opposed to the JCPOA deal.

PUBLISHED: 07/01/2022; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images, IDF