Jun 20, 2021 - World

New Israeli PM cautions world powers to "wake up" on Iran deal

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks before parliament.

Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Israel's new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in his first Cabinet meeting on Sunday cautioned the U.S. and other nations seeking to return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran to "wake up," AP reports.

State of play: The warning comes as the Biden administration has sought to finalize a deal to return to the agreement in the weeks remaining before a new Iranian president is inaugurated. The sixth round of indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran ended on Sunday with progress but without a deal.

  • Bennett at the meeting criticized the newly-elected president, Ebrahim Raisi, saying he is "infamous among Iranians and across the world for leading the death committees that executed thousands of innocent Iranian citizens throughout the years."

Raisi was elected Saturday with 62% of the vote in an election with historically low turnout.

  • Of Raisi's election, Bennett said this is "the last chance for the world powers to wake up before returning to the nuclear agreement and to understand who they’re doing business with. These guys are murderers, mass murderers,” per AP.
  • Israel has long been vocal about its opposition to the nuclear deal, and it has vowed to stop Iran's nuclear program, which Iran has insisted is intended for peaceful purposes.

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