In Brief: Biden team to begin discussing Iran deal with Israeli officials

July 2015 Iran nuclear deal: agreement in Vienna. From left to right: Foreign ministers/secretaries of state Wang Yi (China), Laurent Fabius (France), Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Germany), Federica Mogherini (EU), Mohammad Javad Zarif (Iran), Philip Hammond (UK), John Kerry (USA). (Photo: Dragan Tatic, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, held his first call on Sunday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat. They agreed to begin discussions between the new US administration and the Israeli government on a raft of issues of mutual concern, including the Abraham Accords, the Iran nuclear deal and the wider Middle East. The call came as Israeli media reported that the head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen, will meet the US president next month to outline its latest intelligence on the Iranian threat. According to the reports, Cohen will lay out Israel’s requests for the Biden administration’s expected negotiations with Iran. They include: 

  • Stopping Iran’s uranium enrichment;
  • Stopping their production and testing of advanced centrifuges;
  • Preventing their support for proxy terror groups in the region, primarily Hezbollah;
  • Stopping Iranian entrenchment in Iraq, Turkey and Yemen;
  • Ending Iran’s terror activity worldwide against Israeli targets;
  • Allowing full access to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to all Iranian nuclear sites;
  • Extending the “sunset clause” in the current deal which begins to lift restrictions on Iran’s nuclear programme from 2025.

In his Senate confirmation hearing last week, secretary of state Tony Blinken said there was “still a long way to go” before the US and Iran are likely to agree to return to compliance with the 2015 accord which Donald Trump withdrew from three years ago. Read full article