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As Vienna talks open, Israel pleads for firmness with Iran

Israel's leadership has ramped up diplomatic efforts to convince world powers to keep the sanctions on Iran in place and not give an inch during the renewed talks.
GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images

As negotiators gathered in Vienna for talks with Iran on its nuclear program Nov. 29, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed them in a tough-talking video, urging them not to give in to Iranian “nuclear blackmail” and not to reward Tehran's brutality, reminding his listeners that Iran has often vowed to destroy Israel. Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (in London) and President Isaac Herzog in his largely ceremonial role also spoke from the same page of talking points. All declared that Israel reserves the right to defend itself and called on world powers to rein in and block Iran rather than surrender to its “blackmail.”

As talks got underway in Vienna, it was yet another day in Israel’s Sisyphean attempts to convince the world that Iran cannot and must not be trusted. Its labors have borne few fruit. Israeli envoys recently presented intelligence to the heads of the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany) who are negotiating with Iran that Iran is already making technical preparations for uranium enrichment to the military-grade 90% level.

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