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Israel fails to coordinate call between Lapid and Biden: local media says

August 25, 2022 at 1:59 pm

US President Joe Biden (L) meets Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid (R) in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 14, 2022 [Israeli Government Press Office/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s Channel 13 said that the government tried to coordinate a phone call between Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, and US President, Joe Biden, about the Iranian file, but it did not succeed.

The Channel said, “When asked by Israeli officials for the phone call, the White House replied that Biden was unavailable as he is on vacation.”

However, the Channel said that although the Americans postponed the conversation, Israeli officials predict it will take place eventually and possibly in the near future.

The Israeli Channel also indicated that Israeli officials were told that Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, who left for Washington on Wednesday evening, will not meet with his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin, because he is also outside Washington.

“At a time when the nuclear talks with Iran are entering the final stage, it can be said that Israel is not an important factor in the basket of American considerations,” said the Channel.

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The Channel added, “Even before talks with Israeli leaders, the United States conveyed its response to Iran’s reply to the draft nuclear agreement.”

This happened before Gantz arrived in Washington and before the conversation between Prime Minister Lapid and President Biden, and an Israeli political source said that the gap between the US and Israel is “very large”.

In recent days, Israeli National Security Adviser, Eyal Hulata, met in Washington with Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, and National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, and talks focused on the agreement with Iran.

The Israeli Channel said that Israeli officials went to Washington to minimise the damage.

In recent days, Israeli officials’ statements against the agreement have escalated, stressing that Israel will not be bound by it.

On Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it had ended its review of Iranian observations on the nuclear deal and sent its response to the EU, without providing any details about what the response would be.

The US response came more than a week after Tehran sent its response to what the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, described as the “final text” to revive the nuclear deal.

Earlier this month, the EU submitted a final settlement proposal, calling on Tehran and Washington, who are indirectly negotiating, to respond to it, hoping it ends the talks that began a year and a half ago in success.

Israel wants the international community to impose sanctions on Iran and to threaten it with military action if Tehran continues its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

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