Israel to Halt ‘Growth’ in Exchange for Iran Sanctions

As part of Israel’s anti-Iran campaign, Tel Aviv has apparently agreed with a partial freeze on its illegal construction of settlements on Palestinian land in return for tougher sanctions against Tehran.

Ahead of a meeting with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in London, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that his government is making headway in its talks with the US.

According to the Israeli echelon, Tel Aviv may soon resume the long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu made the remarks following a promise by the United States to adopt a much tougher line with Iran over its nuclear program.

The US, along with Britain and France, is planning to push the United Nations Security Council to expand sanctions against Iran and include the country’s oil and gas industry, The Guardian reported.

The reported plan to intensify pressure on Iran comes as US President Barack Obama hopes to broker an Israeli-Palestinian deal before the end of next month.

So far, Israel has refused to heed US calls for a complete end to the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which is seen as the main obstacle to the resumption of peace talks.

Instead, Netanyahu says his government will not allow new construction but intends to continue building within existing ones to allow for the "natural growth" of the settlers living there.

Tel Aviv has also called for normalization of relations with Arab states in exchange for a temporary and partial halt to the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinians have repeatedly expressed readiness to re-enter peace negotiations if Israel completely halts all settlement activity.

The Israeli prime minister, who is on a four-day European tour, will leave Britain for Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

(Press TV)

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