Thursday, May 26th | 25 Iyyar 5782

June 19, 2021 11:30 am

Report: Bennett Planning to Ramp up Diplomatic Efforts as US Seeks Return to Iran Deal

avatar by i24 News

Naftali Bennett, Israeli parliament member from the Yamina party, gives a statement at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem, June 6, 2021. Menahem Kahana/Pool via REUTERS

i24 News – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett intends to ramp up his engagement with the United States as Washington looks to reenter the 2015 nuclear deal in an effort to positively impact the terms of the agreement, Israeli broadcaster Channel 13 reported on Friday.

As the White House looks to close the deal before the inauguration of Iran’s next president, scheduled for mid-August, Bennett will reportedly use the next several weeks to ramp up diplomatic efforts to convince Washington to strengthen the terms of the emerging deal.

The report also said that Bennett has also lifted a ban imposed by his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Israeli security officials discussing the details of the new agreement between the United States and Iran.

The latest development comes after three former senior defense officials warned Jerusalem that the emerging deal could be worse than the 2015 version, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

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The officials, Haaretz reports, claimed to have received “reliable and worrying information” that the US is “willing to accept a reduced accord that will see most of the sanctions set by the Trump administration since 2018 removed. In return, Iran will roll back only some of the steps it has taken since 2019 to promote its nuclear program.”

Washington is also ready to accept partial limitations on Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity and UN inspections, former head of military intelligence Aharon Zeevi-Farkash along with former senior officials of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission wrote in a letter sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.

In a speech before his swearing-in before Israel Parliament earlier this month, Bennett expressed his firm opposition to Washington’s return to the 2015 nuclear deal, believing that renewing the nuclear deal would be “a mistake.”

“Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. Israel is not a party to the [international nuclear] deal and will maintain full freedom to act,” he said.

Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi will travel to Washington on Saturday evening to meet with senior US defense officials on the matter.

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