An official announced on Sunday that the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency will travel to the US in early September to discuss the prospect of reviving the Iran nuclear agreement.
The upcoming visit is the latest attempt by the Jewish state to dissuade Western powers from returning to the historic 2015 agreement with Tehran.
Israel claims that a deal would make it easier to pay extremists supported by Iran while doing nothing to stop Tehran from creating a nuclear weapon, a goal Iran has always denied.
A senior Israeli official spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity and said Mossad chief David Barnea would “be visiting Washington in a week to participate in closed door meetings in Congress on the Iran deal.” The official did not provide any other information.
Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid claimed that as part of Israel’s “diplomatic fight” against the agreement, recent discussions between the country’s national security adviser and defense minister in the US.
“We are making a concerted effort to ensure the Americans and Europeans understand the dangers involved in this agreement,” Lapid said, stressing what was signed in 2015 was “not a good deal,” and that the one currently being formulated entails “greater dangers.”
In 2018, the agreement intended to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon was unilaterally terminated by the then-US president Donald Trump.
After nearly a year and a half of negotiations, Joe Biden, his successor, has made an effort to salvage the agreement, and recent developments have alarmed the Jewish state.
A new pact would need to “address Iran’s ballistic missile program and its involvement in terrorism throughout the Middle East,” according to Lapid, and include an expiration date and stricter oversight.
“We can reach such an agreement if a credible military threat is put on the table, if the Iranians realise that their defiance and deceit will exact a heavy price,” Lapid said, adding that the army and Mossad had “received instructions from us to prepare for any scenario.”
On Wednesday, Lapid stated that a new agreement would “give Iran $100 billion a year,” which would be used by the militant organizations Iran supports, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad. He also stated that he was in discussions with the leaders of Britain, France, and Germany about the matter.