REG Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett said: "Israel will continue to maintain full freedom of action anywhere any time, with no constraints." Image Credit: AFP

Jerusalem: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday that Israel will not be bound by any nuclear deal with Iran and will continue to consider itself free to act against its nemesis if necessary.

“In regard to the nuclear talks in Vienna, we are definitely concerned ... Israel is not a side to the agreements. Israel is not bound by what will be written in the agreements, if they are signed, and Israel will continue to maintain full freedom of action anywhere any time, with no constraints,” he said in public remarks in a briefing to a parliamentary committee.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said Monday that efforts by “all parties” to revive the country’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers had resulted in “good progress” during talks in Vienna.

Ultraconservative government

Negotiations to salvage the nuclear deal resumed in late November after they were suspended in June as Iran elected a new, ultraconservative government.

The 2015 deal - agreed by Iran, the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - offered Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

But then-president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US in 2018 and reimposed biting sanctions, prompting Tehran to begin rolling back on its commitments.

“There has been good progress on all four issues of removing sanctions, nuclear issues, verification and obtaining guarantees” during the latest round of talks, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Monday.

This progress is “the result of the efforts made by all parties to reach a stable agreement”.

His comments are the latest in a series of positive announcements by Iran on the talks, as the Islamic republic negotiates with the remaining parties to the deal.

The US has participated only indirectly in the Vienna talks, which seek to bring Washington back inside the accord and to ensure Iran re-adheres to its own commitments.

“We are seeking a reliable and stable deal,” Khatibzadeh said. “If the other party thinks an unstable and unreliable agreement is to their benefit, this is not what the Islamic Republic is after.”