Aug 31, 2022 - World

Biden and Lapid discuss emerging Iran deal in phone call

Biden (L) and Israel's caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid, sign a security pledge in Jerusalem, on July 14, 2022.
President Biden and Israel's caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid sign a security pledge in Jerusalem on July 14. Photo: Atef Safadi/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Lapid Wednesday about the emerging deal to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and stressed his commitment to Israel's security, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Why it matters: Israeli officials said that Lapid wanted to try to influence U.S. policy on the gaps that remain between the U.S. and Iran in the emerging deal, which Israel is opposed to.

Driving the news: Lapid and Biden spoke for 45 minutes about the efforts to stop Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said.

  • The two leaders also discussed Iran’s terrorist activity in the Middle East and beyond, and Lapid emphasized the importance of the strikes President Biden ordered against Iranian targets in Syria, the Prime Minister's Office added.
  • The White House has not released its readout of the call, but a White House said Biden and Lapid consulted on a range of global and regional issues.

Behind the scenes: A senior Israeli official said it was made clear during the call that whether there is a nuclear deal or not, Israel will protect itself against Iran with no limitations.

  • "President Biden emphasized his deep commitment to the security of the State of Israel, and to preserving Israel’s capability to deter its enemies and to defend itself by itself against any threat," the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office statement said.
  • The Israeli official said that the impression Lapid got from the call was that the Biden administration will not make any concessions on issues that are outside the scope of the nuclear deal, including on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or the UN investigations into Iran's nuclear activity.
  • The Israeli official added that the understanding from the call was that the U.S. will not allow Iran to get any guarantees that will allow it to bypass the agreement or sanctions through Russia or China.
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