World War 3 fears explode over Israel as Iran to ‘arm militias’ in chilling nuclear plot

Iran threatens to build nuclear warheads in chilling videos

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Israel will “work to bring down” the forthcoming Iran nuclear deal, the country’s Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday. His warning comes as indirect US-Iranian negotiations to revive the 2015 deal – which aims to stop Tehran building nukes – remain ongoing as both sides weigh up a “final text” presented to them by EU mediators. The revival talks follow the US withdrawal from the landmark accord – abandoned by Washington in 2018 – under which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

As Washington and Tehran mull their next steps, leading Iran expert, Andrea Stricker, from the Foundation for Defence of Democracies (FDD) think tank, has warned of the consequences if the two sides fail to agree on how to revive the deal.

The expert warned that a breakdown of the talks may lead to Iran developing a nuclear deterrent it could use to “threaten” Israel and “arm its militias” in the Middle East.

Speaking to Express.co.uk about a nuclear-armed Iran, she said: “I think it would give them cover to expand their malign activities in the region.

“They would be able to do more to threaten Israel. They would do more to arm their proxies and militias and interfere in the affairs of other countries in the region for sure.

“We see what is happening with Russia when they invaded Ukraine.

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“They have the nuclear deterrent to prevent NATO from interfering in the country or doing more as far as putting boots on the ground or directly engaging with the Russians.

“So, I think we can see very clearly that it gives countries the ability to carry out nefarious aims free of more interference.”

Iran has consistently warned of its abilities to develop nuclear weapons in recent years, and during the latest weeks of negotiations.

However, Tehran has consistently denied that it would take such a step, insisting that its nuclear programme is purely for the nation’s energy needs.

Despite claiming innocent motives, Tehran has enriched uranium to 60 percent, a relatively short step away from the 90 percent purity needed for weapons-grade uranium.

Against the backdrop of the recent negotiations, Israeli officials have vowed in private that Israel will bar Iran from developing nuclear weapon capabilities.

They have said that all options – including military action – are on the table to prevent Iran getting nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails.

The officials’ warlike rhetoric has drawn a strong response from Tehran, which has vowed a “crushing” response to any Israeli attack.

Asked if the efforts to stop Iran building nukes are effectively to prevent a new potential conflict, Ms Stricker said: “That is one way to look at it.”

She continued: “I think the closer that Iran gets to nuclear weapons, the greater the chances are for conflict.

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“Particularly Israel, because they may feel compelled to act preemptively.”

Josep Borrell, who has been coordinating the US-Iranian talks, said he hoped for a US response this week.

The EU’s foreign policy chief said on Monday that Iran had already given a “reasonable” response to the negotiations.

In recent days US President Joe Biden has discussed the negotiations with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose nations were all signatories to the original 2015 accord.

Ms Stricker said she thought that Tehran could still accept a deal if the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) halts its investigation into Iran.

She said: “I think there still is a possibility that Iran will accept the deal that is on the table.

“If the world powers agree to close the IAEA’s investigation as they did in 2015.

“So, there is that possibility that the Supreme Leader will simply say that until the leadership in the US changes back to Republican, they may as well take financial windfall and enjoy a few years of sanctions relief.”

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