Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday once again made it clear he is opposed to any “mini-agreements” between the U.S. and Iran on a nuclear deal following reports last week that diplomatic talks between Washington and Tehran had been quietly ongoing.
The Israeli prime minister has long been hawkish when it comes to Iran and reiterated that Israel “will do whatever it needs to, with its own means, to defend itself from Iranian aggression both in the nuclear sphere and, of course, through its use of terrorist proxies.”
“We have made it clear to our American friends time and again…that we oppose the agreements,” Netanyahu said. “We have also told them that the most limited understandings, what are termed ‘mini-agreements’, do not – in our view – serve the goal, and we are opposed to them as well.”
Netanyahu’s comments came after reports last week claimed the U.S. and Iran had been quietly engaged in diplomatic talks in an attempt to limit Tehran’s nuclear development.
Fox News Digital could not immediately reach the State Department for comment, though according to reports a deal has been floated that would limit Iran’s uranium enrichment to 60% in exchange for some U.S. sanction relief.
Some prisoner swaps were also reportedly discussed as part of a potential agreement.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller last week claimed the reports were untrue and said, “there is no deal.”
The U.S. and Iran have not engaged in direct nuclear talks for years following the collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action after the U.S. withdrew from the plan in 2018, and attempts to renew a deal through partner nations fell through last year.
On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken countered the claims that there was a new deal in the works and said,”With regard to Iran, some of the reports that we’ve seen about an agreement on nuclear matters or, for that matter, on detainees, are simply not accurate and not true.”
Israel has long been opposed to any nuclear agreement, and holds the belief that any ability to develop Iran’s nuclear technology will enable Tehran to create a nuclear weapon.
Though the effectiveness of severe Western sanctions was also called into question earlier this year when Bloomberg reported that the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, found that Iran’s uranium enrichment had managed to reach a purity of 84% – just below the 90% threshold required to create a nuclear weapon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.