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Israeli PM speaks to Germany's Scholz on Iran nuclear deal

08/18/2022 | 02:47pm EDT
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid convenes cabinet meeting in Jerusalem

(Corrects spelling of U.S. ambassador's name in paragraph 2)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday, pressing Israel's position that efforts to revive a nuclear deal with Iran should end, a senior Israeli diplomatic official said.

As well as speaking with Scholz, Lapid spoke to Ted Deutch, chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee's Middle East Subcommittee, and with the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Tom Nides, the official said.

The head of Israel's National Security Council, Eyal Hulata, is due to travel to the United States next week for more talks.

The conversations came days after the European Union submitted a "final" draft text aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal which former U.S. President Donald Trump walked away from in 2018.

In an emailed statement, the Israeli official said the time had come to walk away from the talks with Iran, adding: "Anything else sends a message of weakness."

"Now is the time to sit and talk about what to do going forward in order to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," the official said.

Israel has repeatedly spoken out against efforts to revive the deal, reserving the right to take military action to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon or against Iranian-backed militant groups in the region.

Iran, which has long denied wanting to develop a nuclear weapon, has warned of a "crushing" response to any Israeli attack.

(Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Susan Fenton)


© Reuters 2022
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