*Article updated March 4 at 9:45 p.m.
While the world is laser-focused on the war in Ukraine, reports from the Israeli media and a former State Department official indicate that a new nuclear deal with Iran could be reached as early as next week.
The United States is set to lift sanctions on dozens of Iranian individuals and entities that have been directly involved in terror-related activities and missile development, according to Israel’s Channel 12 News.
Unnamed American and European diplomats participating in the Vienna talks note that the Biden administration’s top negotiator on Iran, Robert Malley, is even considering removing the Iran's notorious Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the terror list in exchange for a new nuclear deal. The Trump administration designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization in 2019, noting that it “actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”
New details on the coming deal between Iran and world powers were published on Wednesday on Twitter by Gabriel Noronha, who served as an Iran official at the U.S. State Department until he was fired by former President Donald Trump in 2021.
“My former career @StateDept, NSC, and EU colleagues are so concerned with the concessions being made by @RobMalley in Vienna that they’ve allowed me to publish some details of the coming deal in the hopes that Congress will act to stop the capitulation,” Noronha wrote. He published a lengthy thread on Twitter that specifies the coming concessions to Iran.
“This is a long and technical thread, but here’s what you should know: the deal being negotiated in Vienna is dangerous to our national security, it is illegal, it is illegitimate, and it in no way serves U.S. interests in either the short or long term,” he added.
Noronha mentioned the resignation of three members of the U.S. negotiating team, citing “concessions and other misguided policies.” The entire negotiations have been filtered and “essentially run” by Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov, according to his sources.
One of them warned, “What’s happening in Vienna is a total disaster.”
“Led by Rob Malley, the U.S. has promised to lift sanctions on some of the regime’s worst terrorists and torturers,” said Noronha. Among the terrorists who will be able to live sanctions-free under Malley’s forming deal is IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, who led Iranian forces in Lebanon and Syria when Hezbollah bombed the Marine compound in Beirut and killed 241 U.S. service members in 1983.
Sanctions are also set to be removed from Mohsen Rezaei, who was involved in the 1994 AMIA bombing that killed 85 people in Argentina, as well as the “ideological masterminds” behind the attack, Ali Akbar Velayati, who serves as senior advisor to Supreme Leader Khamenei and helped prop up Assad’s brutality in Syria.
“The removal of these sanctions under a so-called nuclear deal is a ridiculous farce,” Noronha wrote. “The State Department’s lawyers know better but were forced into this by Malley.”
The U.S. agreed to lift additional sanctions that are not directly related to Iran’s nuclear program, according to Noronha. These include restrictions that were placed on Iran’s Central Bank, National Development Fund, and other “huge swaths of the regime’s economic and financial arms.”
The Daily Mail was able to confirm the key details that appear in Noronha’s report by a senior Western diplomat familiar with the talks.
Trump had strong words on Wednesday.
“You're not going to have an Israel if that deal goes through... Israel will be obliterated within a period of time,” he warned.
In an interview with Fox Business, Trump pointed to the absurdity of Russia leading the talks with Iran as chief negotiator – all while invading Ukraine.
Trump said that one of his biggest accomplishments as president was to end the Iran deal.
“They are trying to make an even worse deal that the one that I terminated... These are zealots and they will use those weapons and I had it totally stopped. Now China is making them rich because China is buying oil, and they weren’t allowed to buy oil when I was president,” Trump said.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.