Naftali Bennett
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett. Image Credit: AFP

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday that Iran may “shortly” agree a new nuclear deal with major powers but warned it will be “weaker” than the original 2015 agreement.

“We may see an agreement shortly. The new agreement that appears will be made is shorter and weaker than the previous one,” Bennett said before a weekly cabinet meeting, adding that Israel was “organising and preparing for the day after, in all dimensions”.

Iran's conditions

Meanwhile, a majority of Iran’s parliament on Sunday issued a statement of conditions to be met if Tehran is to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal, the country’s official IRNA news agency reported.

The 250 parliamentarians stated that US and European parties should guarantee not to exit a revived agreement and that the “snapback mechanism” will not be triggered by them.

It also demanded the lifting of all US sanctions in a verifiable process.

Saudi reaction

This comes as Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Saturday the kingdom was looking to schedule a fifth round of direct talks with Iran despite a “lack of substantive progress” so far, and urged Tehran to change its behaviour in the region.

Saudi Arabia and Iran, which cut ties in 2016, launched talks last year hosted by Iraq as global powers sought to salvage the nuclear pact with Tehran, which Gulf states deemed flawed for not tackling Iran’s missiles programme and network of proxies.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said if the 2015 nuclear pact was revived that should be “a starting point, not an end point” in order to address regional concerns, and that Riyadh remained interested in talks with Iran.

“That will indeed require from our neighbours in Iran a serious desire to address the underlying issues that exist ... We hope that there is a serious desire to find a new modus operandi,” he said.

“If we see substantive progress on those files, then yes rapprochement is possible. So far we have not seen that,” he told the Munich Security Conference.

Earlier this month, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran was ready for more talks if Riyadh was willing to hold them in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect.

Tensions between the two countries spiked in 2019 after an assault on Saudi oil plants that Riyadh blamed on Iran, a charge Tehran denies, and continue to simmer over Yemen where a Saudi-led coalition is battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.