08/08/2016, 16.28
IRAN – ISRAEL
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Israel admits Tehran has respected the terms of the nuclear agreement

Energy Minister Youval Steinitz confirmed that there were no "significant violations," but insisted that it was "too early" to say whether the (very bad) deal would be "a success”. Iran executed a scientist involved in the country’s atomic programme for treason. 

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) –  Tehran has so far "respected" the terms of the controversial nuclear agreement, which was signed in July last year and came into force in January, but it is too early to know if it will have long-term benefits, said Israeli Energy Minister Youval Steinitz.

"It's a bad deal but it's an accomplished fact and during the first year we spotted no significant breach from the Iranians," said Youval Steinitz, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "But it's still too early to conclude that this 12-year deal is a success," he told public radio.

After years of embargo, Iran has obtained a partial easing of Western economic sanctions in exchange for an agreement on its controversial atomic programme. For Tehran, the latter is for civilian purposes; for others, including Israel, it could lead to the bomb.

Despite the deal, the United States maintains a range of sanctions because of Iran’s ballistic missile programme, as well as for its military support for Mideast Shia movements.

Steinitz's comments come after US President Barack Obama defended the deal last week.

Israel’s hawkish government was quick to respond. Israel's Defense Ministry, led by hardliner Avigdor Lieberman, on Friday compared the deal with Iran to the 1938 Munich Agreement, which allowed Nazi Germany to annex parts of then Czechoslovakia.

Steinitz's statement yesterday highlights an ongoing power struggle among Israeli leaders, over domestic issues (including over the Palestinian issue) as well as foreign policy.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities hanged Shahram Amiri, a scientist involved in Tehran’s atomic programme, for treason.

On Sunday a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said that "Through his connection with the United States, Amiri gave vital information about the country to the enemy”.

Amiri disappeared in 2009 in Saudi Arabia during a pilgrimage to Makkah, only to reappear a year later in the United States. He claimed that he was abducted and interrogated by the CIA, the US intelligence service.

He returned to Iran in July 2010, a few months later he was sentenced to prison on charges of treason.

News of his execution emerged on Saturday, when Amiri's mother said the body had been handed over with rope marks around his neck.

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