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January 3, 2023 9:16 am

Blinken Tells Israeli Counterpart That US Will Ramp Up Pressure on Iran

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avatar by i24 News and Algemeiner Staff

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks in the briefing room of the State Department in Washington, U.S. January 7, 2022. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS

i24News – United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly told Israel’s new Foreign Minister Eli Cohen during a phone call that the administration of President Joe Biden will increase the pressure on Iran.

During that conversation, Blinken confirmed Biden’s assessment that the 2015 nuclear deal between the regime in Tehran and world powers could not be revived. He added that the administration is likely going to ask the European Union to join the effort to increase sanctions. The reported remarks echo what Biden said in a leaked video from November on the sidelines of an election rally that the Iran nuclear “is dead.”

According to the report in Israel Hayom, Cohen reiterated Israel’s view that the pressure should be upped on the Islamic Republic and that the US should not reenter the pact, which former US president Donald Trump withdrew the US from in 2018 in favor of punishing sanctions. Since the US withdrawal from the pact, Iran has violated many of the terms of the agreement and increased its uranium enrichment program.

Blinken congratulated Cohen on his taking office as Israel’s top diplomat during the 40-minute call and the two discussed a wide range of issues, including the 2020 Abraham Accords brokered by the US that normalized relations between Israel and four Arab countries, and the potential to add more Muslim countries to the agreement.

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Cohen said Monday that he plans to attend a summit in Morocco in March with partners from Arab countries that normalized relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords. Both Blinken and Cohen during the call agreed that the sequel to the successful Negev Summit last March in Israel should be convened in Morocco.

Speaking during his swearing-in ceremony, Cohen — who took office last week as part of Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government — praised the Abraham Accords that “have dramatically changed the Middle East.”

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