Israeli PM will not publicly campaign against Iran nuclear deal: Reports

Prime Minister Bennett told the president that regardless of policy differences he wants to work according to rules of honesty and decency

Tehran: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett does not plan to publicly campaign against the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and expects relations with US President Joe Biden to achieve better results, Axios reports citing two sources.

 “Prime Minister Bennett told the president that regardless of policy differences he wants to work according to rules of honesty and decency,” a senior Israeli official who attended the Friday meeting between Biden and Bennett at the White House said, as quoted by Axios on Saturday.

 Two US sources told Axios that Bennett said on Friday that he believed dialogue between the United States and Israel would achieve better results, although he was still against a US return to the Iran nuclear deal.

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“This is how I want us to work. If you have an issue with something we do, call us and don’t go to the press,” Bennett told Blinken, as quoted by Axios, according to Israeli officials.

Barbara Leaf, one of Biden’s top Middle East advisers, said in a conference call with representatives of Jewish organisations on Friday that the US-Israeli relationship was off to a good start and that Biden also wants “drama free” communication, two people who were on the call told Axios on Saturday.

In 2015, Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or the Iran nuclear deal) with the P5+1 group of countries (the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom – plus Germany) and the European Union.

 It required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal’s adoption.

In 2018, the US abandoned its conciliatory stance on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and implementing hard-line policies against Tehran, prompting Iran to largely abandon its obligations under the accord.

 Biden said on Friday after talks with Bennett that the United States was prepared to use other measures to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails.

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