Will Bennett, Lapid Iran success continue despite elections? - analysis


Staff member
Will Bennett, Lapid Iran success continue despite elections? - analysis
The fact that there is such political turmoil at such a pivotal time for Iran-related diplomacy will likely be a challenge for Israel.
Published: JUNE 21, 2022

The dissolution of the Knesset comes at a key time in Israel’s battle to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons – a time at which continuity, or a lack thereof, could impact the outcome. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – he still has that title for another week – and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid have pointed to recent events on the Iran nuclear front as successes.

In February, when it seemed as though an Iran deal was around the corner, Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Lapid started to become more vocal in speaking out against the negotiations to return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, setting their sights on Iran’s demand that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be removed from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list.

At the time, a senior Israeli official said they weren’t bringing up the issue as a “poison pill” for the Iran Deal, but it was one anyway. The war in Ukraine and distrust of Russia derailed Iran talks, and with Iran insisting that the IRGC be delisted in addition to a restoration of the JCPOA, they never got back on track. In late April, US President Joe Biden told Bennett that the US would keep IRGC on the FTO list, and about a month later, word leaked to the press.

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