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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel does not anticipate a renewal of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers before the US mid-term elections in November, an Israeli official said on Sunday, after European parties to the negotiations voiced frustration with Tehran.

Having supported then-US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from a 2015 Iranian nuclear deal which it deemed too limited, Israel has similarly been advocating against the re-entry sought by the current US administration. On Saturday, Britain, France and Germany said they had “serious doubts” about Iran’s intentions after it tried to link a revival of the deal with a closure of UN watchdog probes into uranium traces at three of its nuclear sites.

Tehran called the European statement “unconstructive”.

“At this point in time, it appears that a nuclear agreement with Iran will not be signed at least until after the (US) mid-term elections,” the Israeli official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Some Israeli commentators saw the remark as anticipating reluctance by US President Joe Biden to enter a deal close enough to the vote for Republican rivals to use it in their domestic campaigns against his Democratic Party.

Briefing the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, Prime Minister Yair Lapid thanked the European powers “for their forthright stand”.

“Israel is conducting a successful diplomatic drive to halt the nuclear deal and prevent the lifting of sanction on Iran,” he said.

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