In Brief: Israel sends diplomats to Vienna for nuclear talks

Ayatollah Khamenei. Image Credit: Tasnim News, CC BY 4.0.

Israeli diplomats have travelled to Vienna to meet negotiators involved in talks aiming to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal for the first time since the Vienna talks resumed last April.

The Israeli delegation, headed by deputy director general of strategic affairs at the Foreign Ministry Joshua Zarka met with the Russian representative at the negotiations on Tuesday.

Zarka tweeted that the meeting had been “frank and important”.

The delegation arrived in Vienna at the start of the week, and have also met with the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and ambassadors from several South American countries.

The delegation is expected to meet with US officials involved in the talks, according to the Maariv newspaper.

Israel is not party to the talks, and has insisted on its right to act as it sees fit against Iran’s nuclear programme, regardless of the talks’ outcome.

While the Israeli government is officially opposed to a return to the 2015 deal, it has also sought to influence negotiations to seek tighter curbs on Tehran and more robust security arrangements.

The appearance of an Israeli delegation in close proximity to the high-stakes talks over the JCPOA provoked anger from some Iranians.

“The overt and unexpected presence of the Zionists in Vienna is undoubtedly a deterrent to progress in the current sensitive situation”, Iran’s Nour News tweeted.