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Iran nuclear deal ‘close’

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Vienna talks on the Iranian nuclear deal are effectively over, and the top Iranian negotiator has returned to Tehran for consultations, which are effectively the final decision on making the deal or not. Iran downplayed the consultations, but EU officials say that over the next few days, the real focus is on political decisions. A deal is been said to be close.

US officials warn there is little time left to make a deal, while French officials say everyone needs to make a deal while they still can, and that delays could risk the position they found themselves in. There are high hopes in the US that an Iran deal could ease oil prices, something needed as they surge to medium-term highs.

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Meanwhile, Israel is working hard to derail the likely imminent deal. Israeli officials have tried to present themselves as neutral to the ongoing Iran nuclear talks, but also regularly step up to angrily condemn diplomacy and issue calls to action.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s called for the world to mobilize against Iran, and said Israeli actions against Iran, including military action, would happen whether or not a nuclear deal was reached.

Israel has spent decades lobbying against deals with Iran and agitating for military action. The US has suggested they are on the eve of a deal, and the Biden Administration has warned Israel against being too hostile to the deal.

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