EXPLAINER: Impending Iran nuclear deal alarms Israel

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Assessment: “The emerging deal, as it seems, is highly likely to create a more violent, more volatile Middle East,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said this week …

While the world’s attention has been focused on Ukraine, the Biden administration also has been racing with world powers toward restoring the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.

After months of negotiations in Vienna, the various sides have indicated a new deal is close, perhaps in the coming days. But instead of the “longer, stronger” agreement originally promised by the U.S., the deal is expected to do little more than reinstate the original pact, whose key restrictions on Iranian nuclear activity expire in a few years.

“Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your [a]keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand.” Psalm 121:4-5

This modest accomplishment appears to be the best the Biden administration can hope for at a time when it is restrained by Congress at home, and overwhelmed abroad with the Ukraine crisis and longer-term challenges such as China and climate change. But it is setting off alarm bells in Israel, whose leaders have grown increasingly vocal in their condemnations of a deal they fear will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“The emerging deal, as it seems, is highly likely to create a more violent, more volatile Middle East,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said this week, repeating his threat that Israel is not bound by the deal and is prepared to attack Iran if needed.

Here is a closer look at the agreement and what lies ahead …

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