Mossad Chief to Rally Against Iran Nuclear Deal Revival on US Visit, Israeli PM Confirms
Media outlets published unconfirmed reports of Israel's spy master's planned trip to the US a week ago. It is believed that he will try to convince US Congress members to thwart the revival of the Iran nuclear deal. Tel Aviv believes that the deal will allow Tehran to build nuclear weapons, despite Iran denying such plans.
Mossad chief David Barnea is due to depart for the US on September 5, where he will reportedly try to convince lawmakers to prevent the restoration of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Prime Minister Yair Lapid has revealed during a cabinet meeting.
Lapid did not delve into the details of Barnea's trip, but noted that his administration will take a different approach from that of former PM Benjamin Netanyahu to fighting the nuclear accord. The latter tried to thwart the accord's signing by delivering a fiery speech criticizing the then-Obama administration in 2015, but only managed to derail White House consultation mechanisms on the deal with Tel Aviv.
"We are leading an intensive campaign meant to prevent the signing of a dangerous nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. The correct policy is the one that we have been leading in the past year: To continue the pressure, without causing a rupture, to present credible intelligence, to be part of the process without destroying the special relationship with the US," Lapid said.
The Mossad chief is set to meet US lawmakers from the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and, according to Lapid, Israel will provide them with intelligence and Tel Aviv's stance regarding the threats that the Iran nuclear deal could create.
The prime minister shared that his low-key approach to negotiating the death of the Iran nuclear deal has already yielded some results, as he lambasted critics who have claimed that his cabinet is "not shouty enough or blunt enough".
"The reservations we presented to the US government were taken into account. We also spoke to other partners and presented demands [they should make of] the Iranians. We can't say everything, but not everything should be subject to fights and speeches," he said.
Lapid previously discussed the upcoming trip to the US with the Mossad chief on September 3, and spoke to US President Joe Biden on August 31 to address the issue of Iran and the nuclear accord.
Tel Aviv strongly opposed the deal when it was first signed in 2015 and opposes efforts to restore it today, claiming that it will boost Iran's funding of its proxies who Tel Aviv accuses of destabilizing the region, as well as reportedly enabling the Islamic Republic to build a nuke. The accord was originally designed to block this, but Israel, which itself is widely considered to possess undeclared nukes, claims that the deal was flawed.
That sentiment was shared by former president Donald Trump, who unilaterally withdrew the US from the accord in 2018. The move effectively led to the collapse of the deal and prompted Iran to resume the development of its nuclear energy program and step-up uranium enrichment. The current US administration has attempted to renegotiate the accord and restore it, but the process has been complicated by Iran's demands to include safeguards to prevent another unilateral US withdrawal.
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