Joe Biden
Joe Biden REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Senior Israeli officials on Sunday sharply criticized US President Joe Biden's administration over the nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna, Channel 13 News reported.

According to the report, those officials said in closed talks that "the Biden administration has turned diplomacy into a religion, and the US agreement with Tehran will be meaningless."

According to those officials, the agreement addresses issues that were relevant in 2015, but since then Iran has made great strides in the field of uranium enrichment.

The officials pointed to a number of problematic clauses in the emerging agreement, according to which Iran will not have to destroy the advanced and rapid centrifuges it has accumulated, but rather will store them aside. In addition, Iran will be given the right to determine whether the other partners to the deal have breached the agreement, which will allow it to withdraw from the agreement.

They also pointed out that the expiration date of the agreement will be in eight years, in 2030, without change from the previous agreement.

The report comes amid speculation that the US and Iran, which have been holding indirect talks in Vienna, are close to reaching an agreement.

On Saturday, a senior European Union official said that a US-Iranian deal to revive Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement was close but success depended on the political will of those involved.

Also on Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi and urged him to agree to a deal to revive the 2015 agreement.

"I expect an agreement in the coming week, the coming two weeks or so. I think we have now on the table text that are very, very close to what is going to be the final agreement," the official said, according to the Reuters news agency.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed a gathering of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and warned that a new nuclear deal being advanced in talks in Vienna could shield Iran's nuclear program, noting that the framework for talks is based on the 2015 deal, under which restrictions on uranium enrichment are set to expire in less than three years.

“Israel and the stable countries in the region are keeping one eye on the Ukrainian-Russian border, and one eye on Vienna, where the talks between world powers and Iran are taking place,” Bennett said.

“We look to Vienna and are deeply troubled by what we see. The emerging deal, as it seems, is highly likely to create a more violent, a more volatile Middle East,” he added.