Friday, June 18, 2021

Lebanon Army Chief: Economic situation will lead to collapse of military

"If the economic situation continues to deteriorate in Lebanon it will inevitably lead to the collapse of institutions, including the military establishment," said Lebanon's Army Chief General Joseph Aoun, according to a Tweet from Lebanon's Army.

"The army is the only and last institution that is still coherent and guarantees the security and stability in Lebanon and the region," said Aoun, who also said that harm to it will lead to "the spread of chaos."

A collapse of the military will leave the country exposed, said Aoun, who asked for foreign support for the military in getting through this "delicate stage.
"We believe that we will pass this difficult and delicate stage thanks to the determination and will of our soldiers and with the support of the Lebanese people and friendly countries."
World powers will seek to raise tens of millions of dollars in emergency aid for the Lebanese army at a meeting on Thursday, aiming to prevent the military from collapsing as the country's economic and political crisis worsens, a French official said.
Paris, which has led aid efforts to its former colony, has sought to ramp up pressure on Lebanon's squabbling politicians, after failed attempts to rally them to agree a new government and launch reforms to unlock foreign cash.
Discontent is brewing among Lebanon's security forces over a currency crash that has wiped out most of the value of their salaries. To tackle that, France will host on Thursday a virtual meeting with partners including the United States, Russia, China and European powers and the Gulf Arab region.


Lebanon's currency crashed past a milestone on Sunday reaching a new low against the dollar, as the country's financial meltdown and political deadlock linger.
Market dealers said the Lebanese pound was trading at around 15,150 to the dollar, losing around 90% of what it was worth in late 2019, when Lebanon's economic and financial crisis erupted.
Lebanon is in the throes of a deep economic meltdown that is threatening its stability. The World Bank has called it one of the deepest depressions of modern history.

 

The search for a red heifer has reached Texas.

In an exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Sabo, a community rabbi in Dallas, Texas, recounted his unique experience taking part in the search for the red heifer at a farm two and a half hours from his city.

The red heifer is crucial in Jewish purity laws. According to Biblical law, only the ashes of a slaughtered red heifer are able to purify an individual who has contracted the highest level of impurity, that of coming into contact with a human corpse.

“It’s a very unique experience. It’s not something that I do. I don’t have a degree in finding red heifers around the world,” he said.

Sabo explained that he was approached by the Temple Institute who sent him and a crew to examine the heifers at the farm.

A cattle farmer named Donald Ferrell claimed to have five red heifers. It was an opportunity they could not miss.

They would have to examine the cows according to strict halakhic criteria. To be considered a red heifer, the heifer would have to meet standards. For one, the cow would have to be completely red, not even five strands of black or white hair on the tail could exist.

“If finding a red heifer was so easy, we would have tons,” said Sabo.

The owner of the cattle farm, Donald Ferrell, also joined Arutz Sheva to speak about his experience.

“It’s been a wonderful experience meeting Rabbi Sabo and his fellow rabbi who came with him and getting to speak with the rabbi in Jerusalem through interpretation,” he said.

He watched as the took many photos and videos to examine the five heifers.

“They were certainly thorough,” said Ferrell. “They took their time examining the heifers.”

All the examining took about eight hours. They checked for non-red hairs and blemishes in the hides.

For someone to call him up and ask if they could check his farm for an unblemished heifer during the one year where he had five red coloured heifers born was “absolutely astounding” for him.

“For me to think it’s coincidence, I can’t believe that. I think that G-d had a hand in it,” he said.

Unfortunately, all five heifers were rejected.

Ferrell said that in the future, he is certain to go and check any new reddish heifers for hairs or blemishes himself.

Sabo said that when he was asked to lead the trip to Ferrell’s farm, he was “just excited for the opportunity to help Am Yisrael.”

Is he disappointed that none of the cows turned out to be kosher red heifers?

Not at all. The experience was worth it. “It was a very unique thing.”

He said examining a cute cow might sound fun and easy but it’s the exact opposite. While the heifers were only three months old, they already weighed 300 pounds. They were not very cooperative. They kicked and moved around. And their mother was unhappy her baby was being handled.

“The whole thing was surreal. You had to pet down the cow and literally go hair by hair,” he said.

They documented the procedure with videos and photos to closely examine the heifers on a Zoom call with Rabbi Ariel of the Temple Institute.

Sabo was petting the cow with one hand while saying, “Good girl, good girl, you’re doing good,” while holding his phone with Zoom in the other hand, at the same time having a Halakhic discourse with the Rabbi.

The heifers did look genuinely red from afar but when you got close up, you began to see the spots that were non-red.

Sabo said of the experience, “it’s a beautiful thing.”

Iranian envoy: Nuclear talks close to agreement but differences remain

Indirect talks between Tehran and Washington on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have come closer than ever to an agreement, but essential issues remain to be negotiated, the top Iranian negotiator said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"We achieved good, tangible progress on the different issues .... we are closer than ever to an agreement but there are still essential issues under negotiations," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi was quoted as having told Al Jazeera television.

Araqchi said Iran's presidential election on Friday would have no effect on the negotiations and the Iranian negotiating team will continue the talks regardless of domestic policy.

"We want to make sure that what happened when Trump pulled out of the deal will not be repeated by any other American president in the future," Araqchi said on Thursday.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Iran and six world powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for both sides to take

The sixth round of talks resumed on Saturday with the remaining parties to the deal - Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union - meeting in the basement of a luxury hotel.

The US delegation to the talks is based in a hotel across the street as Iran refuses face-to-face meetings, noted Reuters.

Iran has insisted on a removal of all sanctions, while the Biden administration has insisted that some will remain if they were imposed over other concerns, including human rights and Iran's support for extremist movements.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently said that "hundreds" of US sanctions will remain on Iran even if the United States rejoins the deal.

He has also warned that if Iran continues to violate the 2015 nuclear deal, the “breakout time” it needs to amass enough fissile material for a single nuclear weapon will shrink to weeks.

Arabs riot on Temple Mount, hurl stones at police


Arabs riot on Temple Mount, hurl stones at police

Injuries reported as Arab mob clashes with police on Temple Mount following Friday prayers.

David Rosenberg , 

Arab rioters clashed with Israeli police on the Temple Mount Friday, nearly a month after a wave of rioting in the capital and across other mixed cities.

Rioters hurled rocks at police following a demonstration on the Temple Mount, which organizers said was held in protest of slogans chanted against Islam’s Prophet Muhammed by some participants at the Flag March in the Old City of Jerusalem earlier this week.

Following the demonstration, which was held at the end of Friday prayers and featured Palestine Liberation Organization flags, a number of demonstrators began hurling stones at Israeli police officers.

Security officers responded by firing rubber bullets at the rioters.

Thus far, three rioters have been injured and evacuated for treatment.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Portland police officers resign en masse from crowd control unit

Biden SNAPS at CNN reporter for questioning 'confidence' Putin will change behavior


Four wild Iran nuclear standoff developments


There have been four wild developments on Wednesday and in recent days which will have major impacts on the future of the Iranian nuclear standoff.


1. Ahmedinejad ‘reveals’ who Mossad recruited within Iranian intelligence to steal nuclear secrets

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told Iran International that the Mossad recruited the highest-ranking Iranian counter-intelligence official in charge of catching Israeli spies in order to steal the Islamic Republic’s nuclear secrets.
The January 31, 2018, raid altered the region’s geopolitics, leading to the US withdrawing from the JCPOA nuclear deal and setting the International Atomic Energy Agency into a years-long conflict with the Islamic Republic that lasts to this day.
Even earlier this month, Iran was nervous that a new condemnation from the IAEA could undermine its chances of reaching a deal with the US to lift sanctions.Ahmadinejad did not give any specific names, details or proof, seemingly suggesting that there was no way the Israeli spy agency could have succeeded in such an audacious operation without high-up inside help from Tehran’s own spy agencies.
Analysts have long speculated about who in Iran the Mossad recruited in order to find out where the nuclear files were held, exactly how to thwart the security measures that were in place and exactly how to burn into the tough file cabinets to procure the files.
Though without evidence, Ahmadinejad’s statement is one of the first semi-specific theories offered by any senior officials. Iran’s intelligence service dismissed Ahmadinejad as deranged and thought such a characterization to be self-serving, because the former president does have an ax to grind against the agency and the ruling class.
Not only did Ahmadinejad fall out of favor with Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after a dispute with Iran’s intelligence agency, but the ruling class then disqualified him from running in the last two elections, including one scheduled for June 18.
Ahmadinejad’s interview could be a way to get revenge as well as being an attempt to present himself to the Iranian public as a patriot who is being silenced from telling the truth.

2. Impact of Biden-Putin summit on Iran-Israel nuclear standoff

The high points of the summit will probably be the global powers’ general relationship, cyber attacks and nuclear issues. But, Iran and talks to return to the JCPOA are undoubtedly also being addressed as a wide range of personnel are involved in the meetings to cover many topics.
This could be a seminal moment for Iran and the nuclear standoff. When Russia and the US are on opposite sides of the issue, as they have been since at least mid-2018, the Islamic Republic has significant backing to hold out for more concessions and to try to harass those it is negotiating with.
Imperfect as it was, many analysts were stunned in real-time at some of the concessions Tehran made as part of the JCPOA. One of the main reasons it did so was because Moscow leaned into the issue with Washington.
Both the outgoing and incoming Israeli governments oppose a return to the JCPOA. But there are different versions of returning. Some paths include destroying Iran’s advanced centrifuges and others just put them on ice. Some include leaving the door open to an add-on deal later to fix some of the JCPOA’s holes, while others leave the holes as is.
Any US-Russia détente on these issues to get Iran to compromise could only be to Israel’s advantage. If there is no Biden-Putin détente, getting the Islamic Republic to concede anything new will be that much harder.

3. Delusional and bizarre Khamenei speech

On Wednesday, Khamenei gave a speech aimed at getting the general public to vote in large numbers on June 18. Khamenei warned his citizens that a low turnout would be used by enemy foreigners to try to ridicule and destabilize the country. He said that “the Western media and enemies seek to undermine and weaken Iran, stressing that people’s participation in elections will secure the country against foreign plots.”
Retreating into the medieval language that he often uses to rally support or lash out when he is on the defensive, Khamenei painted a picture of “satanic powers” trying to brainwash the Iranian public into not voting whereas voting could lead to religious rewards since it was a good religious deed.
Khamenei did not bother to confront the fact that he and his Guardian Council are the reason voter turnout will likely be at an all-time low on June 18. Having disqualified all serious contenders for his clear preference – hardliner and Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi – Khamenei’s Guardian Council made the current election far more illegitimate in the eyes of the Iranian public than previous ones.
If in previous elections, the public knew that some major reformist figures were disqualified by Khamenei, they could at least vote for top figures from the pragmatist camp. In contrast, the Guardian Council during the current election cycle even disqualified the current vice president and a former parliament speaker who were leading pragmatists, to ensure there will be no chance for anyone to beat Raisi. As if to accentuate this point, of the tiny list of seven candidates who the Guardian Council allowed to run, two dropped out on Wednesday, with one endorsing Raisi.

4. IAEA chief says no nuclear deal until after June 18 election

Reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear accord will have to await the formation of a new Iranian government, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said in remarks published on Wednesday, adding that a deal needed political will from all parties.
“Everyone knows that, at this point, it will be necessary to wait for the new Iranian government,” Rafael Grossi said in an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica, in reply to a question about what stage negotiations on the deal were at. Grossi’s statement was an example of rhetorical whiplash, since he had warned only slightly earlier in June that a deal must be struck imminently, or time will run out.
That statement was interpreted as Grossi pressing hard for a deal before the June 18 election so as to rally support for Iran’s pragmatists. Iran’s new president is expected to name his cabinet by mid-August. The term of current President Hassan Rouhani ends on August 3, a government spokesman said.
The sixth round of talks to revive the deal resumed in Vienna on Saturday between Iran and world powers. Grossi’s latest viewpoint is likely just a pragmatic recognition that with two days left until Election Day, he will be stuck working with Raisi to try to solve the nuclear standoff.

Americans for Peace Now urges conditioning of military aid to Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Americans for Peace Now is calling for concrete conditions on defense assistance to Israel, a first for a group that calls itself “pro-Israel” and is a member of the Jewish community’s foreign policy umbrella group, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“If the US wants to nurture peace and support international law, we must explicitly ensure that our taxpayer dollars serve our foreign policy objectives, that they do not go towards human rights violations, and that there are specific consequences if they do,” Hadar Susskind, the group’s CEO, said Wednesday in an op-ed in Time magazine. “If new settlements are legalized or existing ones expanded — these international law violations would come with specific US aid reductions.”

Until recently, assistance to Israel has been sacrosanct in the pro-Israel community and in Congress, even among Israel’s critics.

In an interview, Susskind said part of the group’s reasoning was to protect assistance to Israel in the wake of calls from some progressive Democrats during Israel’s conflict with Hamas last month to cut assistance outright.

Susskind said the Americans for Peace Now proposal would offer a path to lawmakers who were alarmed with the calls to cut aid but are no longer happy with unconditional assistance to Israel.

“I want every sentence to begin ‘I support aid to Israel’,” he said. “We need a middle ground between a blank check and cutting aid.”

Americans for Peace Now and another liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, J Street, said in April that they were in favor of a bill backed by progressive Democrats that would prohibit Israel from using US funds to detain Palestinian minors, appropriate or destroy Palestinian property or forcibly move Palestinians, or annex Palestinian areas. The measure does not spell out specific consequences should Israel violate the restrictions.

Iran hardliner headed for presidency as election rivals pull out

TEHRAN (AFP) — The field of candidates in Iran’s presidential election thinned out Wednesday, two days before the vote in which a victory by ultraconservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi is widely seen as a foregone conclusion.

Three of the seven men who had been approved to enter the lackluster race pulled out, further bolstering the position of Raisi, 60, in a vote expected to see record low turnout.

Reformist Mohsen Mehralizadeh was first to leave the race on Wednesday, followed by two ultraconservatives, Alireza Zakani and Saeed Jalili, who both pledged their support for the frontrunner.

The election comes as economically ailing and pandemic-hit Iran holds talks with world powers to revive the battered 2015 nuclear deal and seeks to end a punishing US sanctions regime imposed under former president Donald Trump.

The vote will choose a successor to Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani, whose administration had agreed the deal. This year he cannot run again, having served two consecutive four-year terms, and leaves office in August.

Ultimate power in Iran, where a revolution toppled the monarchy in 1979, lies with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but the president has significant influence on issues from industrial policy to foreign affairs.

The expected winner, Raisi — the country’s judiciary chief and a cleric sporting a black turban and religious robe — has been mentioned in Iranian media as a possible successor to Khamenei. READ MORE

Gantz to former US defense officials: All options on Iran remain on the table

Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets a delegation of high-ranking former US defense officials to discuss the security challenges facing Israel, most prominently the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Gantz says he told the delegation that Iran’s “further progress” toward nuclear weapons capabilities is “the most dangerous possibility” and that Israel is “working closely with our friends in the US government… to communicate to Iran that all options remain on the table at all times.”

Iran's Supreme Leader: 'I opposed ballistic missiles from reaching maximum range'

Putin ate Biden's lunch in Geneva

Vladimir Putin held a long press conference in Geneva after his meeting with Biden, answering questions from many of the world's media.

When asked about the atmosphere of his meeting with Biden he said he felt no pressure.

In response to an American reporter's question about political prisoners in Russia, referring to Navalny, Putin compared America's recent record speaking about 400 American political prisoners being held in what he described as under criminal persecution in solitary confinement by an US Government who are calling them"domestic terrorists."

He also spoke about Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed woman who, on January 6, threatened no one but was shot dead by a US official who has not been named or arrested.

He also spoke to the BLM riots as being in violation of US law yet were allowed to burn and destroy American cities.

Dubious Democrat actions and non-actions are coming back to bite them internationally.

When they tried to put a mirror up to Russia, Putin artfully turned the mirror around into America's political face.

Putin answered more questions in under an hour than Biden and Harris combined did in six months giving the impression he was more amenable to the press than the two top US officials.

It was a major diplomatic mistake by the United States to allow Putin to go first with his press conference. Biden's press meet was subsequently reactive.

They didn't hold a joint press conference because the Biden camp reckoned their guy would not have been able to compete with Putin. The optics would have looked bad.

The Putin conference went on for 55 minutes. Biden's 24.

Summarising the meeting, America got nothing back from Putin for the Russian cyber attacks, nothing for Biden lifting the sanctions on the Russian pipeline to Europe that boosts Putin's economy for decades and increases his power and influence in Europe.

By approving Putin's pipeline, Biden gave Putin trillions of Euros while simultaneously paying Europe billions of dollars to protect them from Russia.

Welcome to Biden logic even as Biden couldn't even get the return of imprisoned Americans in Russian jails from Putin.

America has surrendered the moral high ground on human rights, trapped by the Democrats' lying narrative of American"systemic racism" played back to them by China at their Summit in Alaska and now from Russia in Geneva.

The optics looked really bad in Europe.

America lost BIG TIME in Geneva.

Report: Israeli tanks destroyed outpost in Syria

First attack under Bennett. IDF tanks last night destroyed a Syrian military outpost in the village of Al-Qahtania in the Quneitra area, which had served as an observation outpost for the Hezbollah terrorist organization, Syrian media reported.

About a week ago, the "Sana" Syrian news agency reported an Israeli attack in the south of the country's capital, Damascus. According to the Syrian Center for Human Rights affiliated with the Syrian opposition, at least eight Syrians were killed.

Jews with homosexual tendencies are eligible for aliyah la'Torah

The Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, has issued a ruling stating that, “It is forbidden to discriminate in the matter of aliyot la’Torah [ascending to make the public blessings over the Torah reading in synagogue] due to sexual orientation.”

Rabbi Eliyahu’s response was issued following an inquiry posed by musician Daniel Zamir, who posted an account on his Facebook page of how he was refused an aliyah several months ago, due to his sexual orientation.

“On Shabbat morning, during the Shaharit prayers, I approached the gabbay [sexton] and asked for an aliyah,” Zamir wrote. “My grandmother passed away this year, and I am saying Kaddish for her, and wanted to go up to the Torah in her memory. In fact, this has been my custom already for many years, to go up to the Torah every Shabbat morning, but this time, to my surprise, the gabbay refused, mumbling that, ‘It’s all taken, [all the aliyot] are taken already.’

“The Torah reading began,” Zamir continued, “and I assumed that there must be a list of people who want aliyot – people in their year of mourning [for a close family member], people with a birthday that day – but no. I saw the gabbay looking around to find people to give aliyot to and he barely found any takers.” READ MORE

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Iran: We have 6.5 kg of uranium enriched to up to 60%

Iran has made 6.5 kg (14 lb) of uranium enriched to up to 60%, the government said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei was quoted by state media as saying the country had also produced 108 kg of uranium enriched to 20% purity, indicating quicker output than the rate required by the Iranian law that created the process.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

It has continued to do so even as current US President Joe Biden has indicated a desire to return to the deal.

In April, the Islamic Republic announced it would begin enriching uranium to 60% purity, a move that would take the uranium much closer to the 90% suitable for a nuclear bomb.

Tuesday's disclosure came as Tehran and Washington hold indirect talks in Vienna aimed at finding ways to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The discussions in Vienna, brokered by European diplomats, have been locked in dispute on which sanctions to lift.

Iran has insisted on a removal of all sanctions, while the Biden administration has insisted that some will remain if they were imposed over other concerns, including human rights and Iran's support for extremist movements.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently said that "hundreds" of US sanctions will remain on Iran even if the United States rejoins the deal.

He has also warned that if Iran continues to violate the 2015 nuclear deal, the “breakout time” it needs to amass enough fissile material for a single nuclear weapon will shrink to weeks.

Poll: Support for Hamas surges among Palestinian Arabs

Support for Hamas has surged among Palestinian Arabs since the recent 11-day conflict with Israel, The Hill reported Tuesday, citing to a new poll released by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.

The study, which included in-person interviews with 1,200 Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria and Gaza last week, found that about 53 percent believe Hamas is “most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people.”

Comparatively, just 14 percent said the same of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

The poll also revealed that an overwhelming majority of Palestinian Arabs, 77 percent, believe that Hamas came out as victorious in its 11-day conflict with Israel, with only 1 percent saying the IDF was victorious.

Roughly 18 percent said neither side could be considered a winner in the fighting, with 2 percent saying both sides won.

65 percent of respondents said that Hamas achieved its objective in firing rockets toward Israel by forcing the US to stop the forced evictions of Palestinian Arab families in the nearby Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.

The poll also follows Abbas’ recent decision to postpone the Palestinian elections. The PA chairman cited Israel’s refusal to allow Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to vote as the reason for the postponement.

The PA has continuously demanded that Israel permit Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to vote in the elections. In this regard, PA officials have been working in the international arena in an attempt to get Israel to agree to this demand.

This would not be the first time that the PA has used Israel’s refusal to permit Jerusalem Arabs to vote as an excuse not to hold elections at all.

Hamas, which opposes the postponement of the elections, has threatened a confrontation with the Palestinian Authority in response to the move.

Watch: Biden fiddles with anti-Trump talking points at G7 summit

As new government takes over, focus shifts to courting Democrats

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

G7 leaders, NATO members vow to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons


Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations and members of NATO on Monday reaffirmed a commitment to stop Iran from making nuclear weapons, as diplomats from outside the European Union cautioned that negotiations with the Islamic Republic to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal still need more time.

Iranian envoys held another round of negotiations with international delegations in Vienna a day after EU coordinators suggested that differences over the accord limiting Iran’s nuclear activities had narrowed further. But Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told Iranian state media he thought a deal was unlikely to emerge in the coming week. A diplomat from Russia also said more time was needed to work out details.

The Vienna meetings are aimed at rebuilding the nuclear containment agreement between Iran and major world powers that the Trump administration withdrew the United States from in 2018.

US President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders expressed support for the Vienna process after a three-day summit in southwest England that ended Sunday. The G7 nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.

“We are committed to ensuring that Iran will never develop a nuclear weapon,” the leaders said in a joint statement.

“A restored and fully-implemented [nuclear deal] could also pave the way to further address regional and security concerns,” the statement said.

A statement echoing the same sentiment and using the same wording was issued Monday by the 30-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) following a summit in Brussels, Belgium.

NATO members also welcomed the discussions with world powers, urged Tehran to avoid “any further escalation,” and backed the UN’s atomic watchdog, which has been documenting Iranian violations of the nuclear deal.

The NATO statement also slammed the Islamic Republic for supporting proxy terror groups and over its ballistic missile program.

“We condemn Iran’s support to proxy forces and non-state armed actors, including through financing, training, and the proliferation of missile technology and weapons,” the statement said. “We call on Iran to stop all ballistic missile activities inconsistent with UNSCR 2231, refrain from destabilising actions, and play a constructive role in fostering regional stability and peace.”

A resolution would see Iran return to commitments made in 2015, aimed at making the development of a nuclear weapon impossible, in exchange for lighter US sanctions.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Iran has been “galloping forward” with its nuclear ambitions and violating the terms of the accord since the United States pulled out of the deal.

“I think [it] puts some urgency in seeing if we can put the nuclear problem back in the box,” Blinken said.

Sunday’s bilateral meetings followed joint negotiations held Saturday involving senior diplomats from China, Germany, France, Russia, and Britain. The United States was not directly involved.

An Iranian pro-opposition group held a small protest outside the famed Vienna Opera House, near the downtown hotel where the talks are taking place. Organizers said local police in Austria’s capital instructed them not to protest outside the hotel. The event ended peacefully.

Nikki Haley slams Biden's policy on Israel, calls Netanyahu a 'survivor'

Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and staunch supporter of the Jewish State, Nikki Haley, seen as a possible candidate in the 2024 elections, addressed President Biden's foreign policy changes during a tour of southern Israel Sunday.

Asked by Fox News for her reaction on the ousting of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Haley complemented the long-time leader, calling him a, "survivor" who should "never be counted out."

Haley also addressed the American administration's ongoing talks with Iran over a possible return to the 2015 nuclear deal and said she had spoken to Prime Minister-elect Naftali Bennett, incoming Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, as well as Netanyahu and that the underlining message she heard from all three was that, "re-entering the Iran deal was a death wish for Israel."

"Both said it was one atomic bomb from the world seeing total destruction," added Haley.

"Working with President Trump to get out of the deal," she continued, "the one thing we didn't want to see was [having the U.S.] giving more money to Iran and making the world a more dangerous place."