US Criticizes Iran Nuclear Deal; Sells Israel Planes to Bomb Iran

September 4th, 2022 - by Dave DeCamp /

Nuclear Deal Seems Unlikely as US Says
Iran’s Response Is ‘Moving Backwards’

Dave DeCamp /

(September 1m 20220 — A revival of the Iran nuclear deal now seems unlikely as the US has characterized Iran’s latest response in the EU-mediated negotiations as “moving backwards.”

Iran delivered the text early Friday morning Tehran time and called its response “constructive.” But in comments to Politico, an unnamed US official slammed the Iranian response as “not at all encouraging.”

“We are studying Iran’s response, but the bottom line is that it is not at all encouraging,” a senior US official said. “Based on their answer we appear to be moving backwards.”

The US official wouldn’t detail the contents of the text, but a European diplomat also shared the negative view of Iran’s response. The diplomat told Politico that Iran’s answer was “negative and not reasonable.”

It’s not yet clear if the US view on the response means that the Biden administration will end the talks on reviving the Iran deal, known as the JCPOA. The negotiations have dragged out throughout Biden’s presidency as he has refused to lift all Trump-era sanctions on Iran.

The Biden administration’s apparent rejection of the response could be related to the pressure it has been under from Israel and hawks in Congress to abandon talks with Iran.

Before Iran submitted its response, US officials said that they were “closer” to a deal after Iran made several concessions. Based on recent media reports, the only outstanding issues were related to guarantees for if the US withdraws from the JCPOA by reimposing sanctions, as it did in 2018.

Iran was also looking for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to close its inquiry into traces of uranium at undeclared nuclear sites. A US official said that Iran dropped its demand to end the IAEA investigation in order to revive the deal, but Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said this week that without settling the issue, “talking about an agreement would be meaningless.”

US Signs Deal to Give Israel
Refueling Planes Needed to Bomb Iran

Israel is purchasing them from Boeing
with funds provided by US military aid

Dave DeCamp /

(September 1, 2022) — The Pentagon signed a contract with Boeing on Thursday to supply Israel with four KC-46 refueling planes that are needed for potential Israeli strikes on Iran, although the aircraft won’t be delivered until at least 2025.

The deal is worth $927 million, and Israel is purchasing the planes from Boeing with money from the $3.8 billion in military aid it receives from the US each year. Of that amount, Israel receives $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing, a State Department program that gives foreign governments money to purchase US-made military equipment.

Israel has the option to order four more KC-46s in the future. The deal has been in the works for a long time, and Israel has previously asked the US if it could accelerate the delivery of the planes, but the US has denied the request. The US military would need to give up its spot in line to receive KC-46s in order for Israel to receive the planes earlier.

Israel currently relies on aging tankers for mid-air refueling, which aren’t expected to be capable of supporting attacks on Iran. According to the Times of Israel, Israeli jets would need to travel about 1,200 miles to strike targets in Iran, which would require either the KC-46s or stopping in a Gulf country to refuel.

Over the past year, Israel’s military has been focused on making preparations to bomb Iran. Israeli warplanes recently simulated launching large-scale attacks on Iran over the Mediterranean Sea.

The signing of the contract comes as the US and Iran are engaged in EU-mediated negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal, which Israel is strongly against. Israeli officials have stepped up their efforts to sabotage the agreement and are calling for the US to prepare a military option.

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