Bennett meets with Jake Sullivan
Bennett meets with Jake Sullivan Haim Zach (GPO)

According to a new report in Israel Hayom, the United States has formulated a plan to impose punitive measures and sanctions on Iran, in the event that the nuclear talks in Vienna break down without a satisfactory resolution.

On Wednesday, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with senior Israeli officials, notes the report, and used the occasion of their discussions to reveal this alternative scenario, which, the United States claims, includes the agreement of other world powers in applying sanctions against Iran.

The punitive measures being considered include harsher sanctions on the Iranian economy, particularly on the import and export of petroleum, and also issuing condemnations at the Security Council, application of sanctions directly against senior Iranian officials, and more.

At the present stage, however, the United States is expected to renew its talks with Iran in Vienna within the coming few weeks and does not intend to impose any of these punitive measures unless the talks actually break down entirely.

Another scenario which could result in the imposition of punitive measures, according to the report, would be one in which Iran takes especially provocative actions, undefined. At any event, this particular scenario is considered unlikely; furthermore, any scenario ending in punitive measures is one of a long, drawn-out process before Washington and the other global powers come to any degree of agreement on steps to be taken.

In addition, Israel’s assessment is that in the meantime, Iran will continue to play the same games it has been playing – quite effectively – until now, in order to buy itself valuable time, stringing along the United States with a vague promise that the Vienna talks will, eventually, bear fruit.

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