Israel to work with world powers to shape any Iran nuclear deal -Gantz

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Tel Aviv (Reuters) – Israel will work with world powers to have an impact on any deal that may emerge from their nuclear negotiations with Iran, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday.

Iran and the United States are expected to return to indirect talks in the coming days amid a push by the European Union to break a months-long impasse in the negotiations to reinstate a 2015 nuclear pact. 

Israel is not a party to the negotiations. But its concerns about the outcome – and its long-standing threats to take unilateral military action against Iran – carry weight in Western capitals.

“With the expected or possible resumption of the nuclear talks, we will continue to work together with the United States and other countries in order to make our position clear and influence the crafting of the deal – if there is such,” Gantz told reporters.

“It would be proper to make clear that Israel does not oppose a nuclear deal in itself. It opposes a bad deal,” he said.

Israel has drawn closer in recent years to U.S.-aligned Arab states which share its concerns over Iran and it has offered them defence cooperation.

Reiterating his disclosure from last week of an air defence alliance with unidentified regional partners, Gantz said there were “additional operational dimensions” to the cooperation. He did not elaborate.