Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in Vienna Handout, Reuters

Iran wants a comprehensive nuclear deal with world powers that removes sanctions, including on oil exports, and won’t settle for an interim agreement, its foreign ministry said on Monday.

“Iran is seeking a sustainable and reliable deal and any agreement that doesn’t meet these requirements won’t be on the agenda,” said a foreign ministry spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, according to Bloomberg.

“The US return to the nuclear deal should come with necessary assurances and verifications and a chain of sanctions must be lifted. It can’t happen through an interim deal,” he added.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

However, it has held indirect talks with the US on reviving the deal. Negotiations to restore the deal resumed in late November after they were suspended in June.

On Sunday, Iran's foreign minister said the talks are approaching a "good agreement" but reaching one soon depends on the other parties.

Meanwhile on Monday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appeared for the first time before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and stressed that Israel is not obligated to keep a nuclear agreement made by other countries with Iran.

"Iran tops our list of challenges. Iran is the head of an octopus that constantly threatens Israel on all its borders via its proxies and its tentacles," he said.

"We are dealing day and night with Iran, its malign activity, and its satellites. We are shifting to a concept of consistent offense and not just consistent defense."

"Regarding the nuclear talks in Vienna, we are certainly concerned. It is important for me to say here clearly and unequivocally: Israel is not a party to the agreements. Israel is not bound to what will be written in the agreements if they are signed. Israel will maintain unlimited and unrestricted freedom of action, everywhere and at all times," added Bennett.

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