IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi (l) and Israeli Minister of Defense Benny Gantz at a Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset, Oct. 19, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90) (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Aviv Kochavi Benny Gantz

The Israeli defense minister will also hold discussions with the Biden administration on Iron Dome replenishment and certain defense acquisitions that have faced delays.

By Yaakov Lappin,

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz is expected to underline the stalling tactics utilized by Iran in nuclear negotiations in Vienna during his official visit to the United States, which begins on Thursday, and point out that the Islamic Republic is enjoying reduced sanctions enforcement and nuclear-program advancement at the same time.

Iran’s decision to continue to build advanced uranium centrifuges, which accelerate the enrichment process, and to begin enriching uranium to the 20 percent level at its Fordow facility, as well as to 60 percent at Natanz, have set off warning bells in Israel.

The fact that Iran is taking advantage of slow negotiations, dragging them out as it makes nuclear progress, will be the No. 1 agenda that Gantz will focus on in the United States.

Currently, no solution appears in sight as Iran reaches the most advanced stage in its nuclear program to date. Even the Biden administration’s attempt to return to the 2015 nuclear deal—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—has so far stalled, and there is no sign of international community pressure on Iran to cease its nuclear activities as the talks wear on.

This status quo represents the worst of all scenarios in that there is no pressure on Iran—the only diplomatic game in town is to get it to return to the former deal, whose sunset clauses will expire in the coming years. And while sanctions on Iran have not been lifted, their level of enforcement is clearly waning.

China has signed oil-procurement deals with Iran that it was not willing to do in 2020 for fear of U.S. sanctions, a clear sign that Beijing is feeling more empowered.

In this twilight zone, Iran enjoys the benefits.

Second on the list will be the schedule for implementing the Iron Dome interceptor replenishment program, which recently won the support and financial commitment of the U.S. House of Representatives to the tune of $1 billion.

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