Jerusalem, July 10 (Sputnik) Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Sunday he would discuss Iran with US President Joe Biden during the latter’s visit to the region. “We are entering a historic week.
President Joe Biden, one of Israel’s closest friends in American politics, will arrive on Wednesday, once saying of himself, “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist. I am a Zionist.’
This visit will focus on both challenges and opportunities. The discussion of challenges will mainly focus on the Iranian issue,” Lapid told a cabinet meeting.
Prime Minister adds that Israel reserves “complete freedom of action, diplomatic and operational, in the fight against Iran’s nuclear program“, and that he will discuss with Biden and his team the expansion of security cooperation in the face of all threats.
Biden will visit Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia from July 13-16 as part of the first tour of his presidency in the Middle East. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in 2015 by the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Germany, the United States, France, the European Union and Iran, imposing restrictions on the advancement of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions.
In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Tehran responded with a gradual withdrawal of JCPOA obligations, dropping restrictions on nuclear research, centrifuges and the level of uranium enrichment. Negotiations on resuming the JCPOA and lifting Washington’s sanctions against Tehran were held in Vienna.
In December 2021, the parties agreed on two draft agreements, in which the European side included Iran’s conditions. Iranian Representative Bagheri Kyani said the talks were successful, but US State Department spokesman Ned Price called progress in Vienna “modest”. Negotiations were suspended with the parties returning to their capitals at the end of March. The last round of JCPOA negotiations was held in Doha on June 29-30.