In Vienna, the eighth round of negotiations aimed at reviving the Iranian nuclear agreement is continuing in Vienna, amid disagreements and obstacles, and German assurances that it has entered a critical stage.

Sources close to the negotiations said that the difference in priorities between Iran and the Western powers is one of the most important obstacles, as Iran focuses on lifting sanctions and demands guarantees, while the Western powers stress the necessity of Iran's nuclear commitments first.

For her part, German Foreign Minister Annalina Birbock said that talks with Iran have entered a critical stage.

Birbock added - during a press conference with her American counterpart, Anthony Blinken - that Iran has squandered a lot of confidence, and that there is not much time to revive the nuclear agreement.

Part of the negotiations taking place in the Austrian capital Vienna (Reuters)

Negotiations and goals

The Vienna negotiations are taking place between Iran and the "4+1" group (Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China), along with the representative of the European Union, and the United States indirectly participates in them.

The negotiations aim to revive the Iranian nuclear agreement after it was disrupted by the withdrawal of the United States from it.

The nuclear agreement led to the lifting of sanctions imposed on Tehran in return for restrictions on its nuclear activities, but former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 after a year in office, while Tehran responded by repudiating its obligations under the agreement.

In the latest round of indirect talks between Iran and the United States in Vienna, Tehran has again focused on lifting sanctions.

In a related context, Iranian Revolutionary Guards spokesman Brigadier Ramadan Sharif said that Iran's nuclear facilities are well-protected, and that Israel will pay a heavy price if it attacks them.

Sharif pointed out that Israel's threats are for domestic consumption, and that it fears the Iranian response to targeting its nuclear facilities.

He said that Iran's missile capacity and regional influence is a red line and is not negotiable, pointing out that Israel knows that the Iron Dome shield cannot repel Iran's missiles if the battle begins.

For his part, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reiterated the Biden government's "unwavering commitment" to Israel's security, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Price said - in a statement received by the German News Agency this morning Thursday - that Blinken's assertions came during a phone call yesterday, Wednesday, with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, adding that the two ministers discussed a set of regional and international challenges, including the risks of continuing Russian "aggression" against Ukraine and ". challenges” posed by Iran.

Yesterday, Wednesday, a prominent Israeli military official considered that the major powers reaching an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program in Vienna would be better for Tel Aviv than the failure of the ongoing talks there, according to what was revealed by the Israeli Walla news website.

Negotiations continue amid several obstacles (Reuters)

position estimate

In appreciating a position he presented to the Israeli cabinet meeting for security and political affairs, the head of the intelligence service in the Israeli army, Aharon Helweh, considered that reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran in the ongoing talks in Vienna is better for Israel than its failure, as this will provide restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program that will not exist without agreement.

The military official added that returning to the agreement would provide additional time for Israel, and would allow it to better - without pressure - prepare for escalation scenarios with Iran.

Based on the Israeli site, the assessment in Israel is that both Iran and the great powers are interested in returning to the 2015 nuclear agreement, and that this is likely to happen.

However, the assessment in Israel until a few weeks ago was that the Iranians are not serious and are using the negotiations in Vienna to gain time to move forward with the nuclear program, but the assessment now in Israel is that the Iranians are actually interested in reaching an agreement.