Former US Ambassador to Israel Appointed Jewish State’s Interlocutor on Iran
i24 News – Dan Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel, has been appointed head of the US State Department to the Jewish state regarding Iran, the Walla news site reported.
Citing unnamed State Department officials, the report says Shapiro will be part of Iranian envoy Robert Malley’s diplomatic team and will focus on coordinating with Israel over Tehran’s nuclear program and regional activities.
According to the news site, Shapiro started work last week and advised White House officials before US President Joe Biden hosted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for talks.
Shapiro was the United States’ ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration from 2011 to 2017, when Biden was vice president.
Shapiro’s name was floated as a possible Biden pick for US ambassador to Israel, however, the president nominated Thomas Nides, a deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, to be his ambassador to Israel.
The announced appointment comes as talks have stalled over reinstating the 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
During the meeting last week at the White House with Bennett, Biden said in remarks delivered in the Oval Office that if diplomacy fails with Iran, then “we’re ready to turn to other options.”