Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with President Biden’s special envoy for Iran Monday and reiterated Israel’s opposition to planned US negotiations with Tehran to revive the nuclear deal, claiming the Iranians have no intention of rejoining the agreement.
US special envoy Robert Malley is in Israel as part of a tour of the region where he will meet with Iran’s rivals ahead of the nuclear deal talks that will resume on November 29th. According to Israel’s YNET news site, Lapid claimed in a meeting with Malley that Iran is only reentering the negotiations to buy time.
Malley also met with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and David Barnea, the head of the Mossad spy agency. An Israeli source told Haaretz that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is not meeting with Malley because he is opposed to the JCPOA talks, although another source said Malley is not senior enough to meet with the Israeli leader.
Malley’s trip also includes stops in the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Each country is opposed to the JCPOA, and such close US coordination ahead of the new talks doesn’t send the best signal to Tehran. While Malley tours the Middle East, Iranian officials are engaging with the remaining JCPOA participants; China, Russia, the UK, France, and Germany.
The Biden administration has been coordinating very closely with Israel on Iran as Israeli officials are constantly threatening to attack the Islamic Republic. Last week, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces said this week that he is “accelerating” plans to attack the Islamic Republic. The US has joined Israel in the hawkish rhetoric. In a recent interview, Secretary of State Antony Blinken wouldn’t rule out military action as an “option” to explore if the JCPOA isn’t revived.