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Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

Israel has presented the Trump administration with its "red lines" for the nuclear deal the United States is currently negotiating with Saudi Arabia to build reactors in the kingdom.

The big picture: A senior Israeli official told me the Israeli government realized it will not be able to stop the deal — set to be worth billions of dollars for the U.S. — and decided instead to attempt to reach an understanding with the Trump administration regarding the parameters of the deal.

  • Last March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised concerns about the deal during a meeting with President Trump and other senior U.S. officials. Netanyahu was concerned such a deal, especially if it also includes a "right" to enrich uranium, will lead to further nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. Trump and his advisers told Netanyahu that, if the U.S. does not sell the Saudis nuclear reactors, other countries like Russia or France will.
  • The senior Israeli official told me Netanyahu sent Yuval Steinitz, his energy minister in charge of Israel's atomic energy committee, to Washington two weeks ago to meet with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who is leading the negotiations with the Saudis over the nuclear deal.

What we're hearing: Steinitz presented Perry and other senior U.S. officials with this set of parameters:

  • Israel asked the U.S. for a "no surprises policy" regarding the negotiations with the Saudis to ensure maximum transparency.
  • Israel asked to know in advance what nuclear equipment the U.S. would sell the Saudis and asked to be consulted about the planned location of the nuclear reactors the U.S. would build in Saudi Arabia. The senior Israeli official told me the main reason for that demand is nuclear safety.
  • Israel demanded that the deal will not give Saudi Arabia the capability or the legitimacy to enrich uranium on its soil. The Saudis want to get American permission to enrich uranium as part of the deal.
  • Israel demanded that the U.S. will be the only nation to supply the Saudis with the nuclear fuel for its reactors.
  • Israel demanded that the U.S. must remove all used nuclear fuel from Saudi Arabia so that the Saudis will not be able to reprocess it.

What's next: Perry told Steinitz the U.S. will take the Israeli concerns into consideration and will continue to provide updates regarding the negotiations with the Saudis, per the senior Israeli official. The talks are set to continue during Perry's planned October visit to Israel.

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Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 47 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Study finds bias against Black patients written into medical charts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black patients were more than two-and-a-half times as likely as white patients to have negative descriptors about them in their electronic health record, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: The study is further evidence of bias in the U.S. health care system, which can ultimately result in worse care and disparately poor outcomes.