Military retaliation possible: USA and Israel threaten Iran in nuclear dispute

The US is aiming for a return to the nuclear deal with Iran. There, however, the balance of power has changed. Since then, the talks have been on hold. The United States and Israel are losing patience – and gradually losing interest in a peaceful solution.

In the nuclear dispute with Iran, the USA threatened the government in Tehran with consequences if a negotiated solution failed. “We will consider all options,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a meeting with his Israeli colleague Jair Lapid in Washington. A “diplomatic solution” is the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. “But we are ready to turn to other options if Iran does not change course.”

The US Secretary of State accused the Iranian government of a lack of willingness to enter into dialogue and warned that the time for a negotiated solution was running out. Blinken did not say exactly which “options” are on the table. His Israeli colleague Lapid had previously said, however, that Israel reserves the right to use military force in the nuclear conflict with Iran. “We know that there are moments when nations need to use force to protect the world from evil,” said the Israeli foreign minister. “Israel reserves the right to act in any way at any time. Not only is it our right, it is our responsibility.”

Meanwhile, the US special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, warned that it was “quite possible” that Iran would not return to the 2015 nuclear deal. “We need to coordinate with Israel and our other partners in the region,” Malley said at an event organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank. Talks on reviving the nuclear deal began in Vienna in April. Since the election of the ultra-conservative clergyman Ebrahim Raisi as the new Iranian president in June, the Vienna talks, in which the US is indirectly involved, have been on hold.

The United States withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 under the then President Donald Trump and imposed new sanctions on Tehran. As a result, Iran gradually withdrew from the agreement. Trump’s successor Joe Biden wants a return to the agreement, but first demands Iran to comply with the requirements again. The international nuclear agreement of 2015 is intended to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons. Among other things, the country committed to restrict its uranium enrichment capacities and to allow regular inspections of its nuclear facilities.

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