US State Dept. denies Israeli claims nuclear talks are 'dead'
A senior Israeli official claims that the occupation will extract gas from the Karish field "the minute we are ready" and that Hezbollah "will suffer" in an event of an attack.
The US State Department denied on Monday remarks made by a senior Israeli official who claimed that the Joe Biden administration has given up on the Iranian nuclear talks, saying the US efforts to reach an agreement with Iran were ongoing.
In a statement, an anonymous State Department spokesperson pointed out that "we have been and are continuing to seek a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] because President Biden is convinced that this is the best way to deliver on his commitment not to allow Iran to possess a nuclear weapon."
The statement comes hours after a senior Israeli official, briefing reporters during Israeli occupation Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to Berlin, claimed that "the Americans and most Europeans say there’s not going to be a [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]."
"There are no talks right now with Iran. There is no one in Vienna," the official claimed.
According to the Israeli official, "Everyone has their own excuse” for reaching this conclusion, explaining that "some say the Iranian response, some say [EU Foreign Affairs head Josep] Borrell and [Borrell’s chief of staff Enrique] Mora were getting ahead of themselves, some say the Americans decided to toughen up after the dialogue with the Israelis."
"It’s time to start a strategic dialogue with the Americans and Europeans about a longer, stronger agreement. But what we need now is for the Americans to put a credible military threat, and everyone to push for a better agreement," the Israeli official considered. "We need an agreement without sunset clauses."
The Israeli official said that "Israel" was able to sideline Robert Malley, who helped conclude the original nuclear agreement in 2015, adding that "this is out of the hands of Malley’s camp by now. The decisive talks we’re having with the US are no longer in Malley’s hands."
In regard to the State Department's response to the Israeli official's claims, the spokesperson indicated that "we have a very close dialogue with Israel and other allies and partners about Iran, including the JCPOA. Special Envoy Malley is an integral part of those talks."
The State Department spokesperson made it clear that "it is not correct that our position has ‘toughened.’ The President [Biden] has always been very clear about what we need in order to reach an understanding and return to full implementation."
"There is only one reason that we have not yet reached an understanding: Tehran has not yet accepted the reasonable basis presented by the EU as coordinator of JCPOA talks," the spokesperson claimed.
Blinken: Prospects for Iran nuclear deal revival in near term unlikely
In the same context, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed Monday that Iran's response to the European Union's proposal to revive the Iran nuclear deal set back ongoing negotiations and made the prospects for an agreement in the near future unlikely.
During a press conference in Mexico City, Blinken said that "what we've seen over the last week or so in Iran's response to the proposal put forward by the European Union is clearly a step backward and makes the prospects for an agreement in the near term, I would say, unlikely."
The US Secretary of State also claimed that Iran seems either unwilling or unable to do what is necessary to reach an agreement.
Senior Israeli official: Hezbollah will suffer
In a separate context, the senior Israeli official claimed that the occupation was not afraid of Lebanese Hezbollah's threats to attack the illegal gas extraction rig set offshore the Karish field.
"We will extract from Karish the minute we’re ready. If Hezbollah does something they’ll suffer," the source claimed.
"Israel" has already set up a rig in the disputed Karish gas field in an attempt to extract gas, completely infringing on Lebanon's rights, amid an energy crisis in Europe. But Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had warned that "if Lebanon does not obtain the rights demanded by the Lebanese state, we are heading toward an escalation whether or not the nuclear agreement is signed."
Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that "the focus in Lebanon must be on Karish and the Lebanese [maritime] border, as well as the US mediator that is still wasting time amid a time constraint."
On August 9, the Lebanese leader warned that any attempt to plunder any of Lebanon's wealth will be thwarted, indicating that the party is waiting for the Israeli enemy's response to Lebanon's demands regarding border demarcation.
It is noteworthy that last week, London-based company Energean said it planned to begin gas production for the Israeli occupation "within weeks".
Israeli occupation Prime Minister Yair Lapid claimed Monday that "Israel" can deliver about 10% of the gas Europe received from Russia last year.
"We are going to be part of the effort to replace Russian gas in Europe," Lapid mentioned following a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.
On his part, Scholz said Germany was working on gas import infrastructure to allow deliveries from new partners, as Berlin strives to end its dependency on Russian deliveries.