David Barnea, the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, wrapped up a trip in Washington on Thursday that was focused on Iran as Israel has been pushing hard for the Biden administration to exit nuclear deal negotiations with Tehran.
According to a statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office, Barnea stressed to officials in Washington that Israel “will not be able to stand idly by while Iran continues to deceive the world.”
Barnea arrived in Washington on Monday and held meeting with CIA Director William Burns, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and senior State Department officials.
The Israeli pressure against the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, appears to be working as the US reacted negatively to Tehran’s latest response in the negotiations, and the EU has said the deal is in “danger.”
The Israeli news website Zman Yisrael reported on Wednesday that the US has told Israel that any agreement with Iran is off the table, at least for now. The report said President Biden and other US officials conveyed this message to Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in recent conversations.
The Zman Yisrael report has not been confirmed, but Lapid has said publicly that he believes his pressure has been “working.” It’s not clear if the US will officially abandon the EU-mediated negotiations with Iran or continue dragging them out.
Israel is opposed to the JCPOA because it does not last forever, but after the agreement expires, Tehran will still be bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel refuses to sign the NPT due to its secret nuclear weapons program and stockpile.