June 16, 2024
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Bennett to Present Iran Plan in First White House Visit

(Algemeiner) New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett plans to push for a new Iran strategy during his first White House visit this week, saying he will urge U.S. President Joe Biden not to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

An Israeli government source on Monday referred to Iran’s current rate of enrichment of uranium as “dizzying and worrisome.”

Biden’s aides hope the talks will set a positive tone for his relationship with Bennett, a right-wing politician and high-tech millionaire who ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12-year run as prime minister in June.

This would stand in sharp contrast to years of tensions between the conservative Netanyahu, who was close to former President Donald Trump, and the last Democratic administration led by Barack Obama with Biden as his vice president.

The visit gives the U.S. administration an opportunity to demonstrate business as usual with its closest Middle East ally while it contends with the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden’s biggest foreign policy crisis since taking office.

The two leaders are expected to speak briefly to a small pool of reporters during their Oval Office talks but will not hold a joint news conference.

Bennett is less dramatic but publicly just as adamant as Netanyahu in pledging not to allow Iran, which Israel views as an existential threat, to build a nuclear weapon, telling a cabinet meeting on Sunday the situation was at a critical point.

“Iran is advancing rapidly with uranium enrichment and has already significantly shortened the time it would take to accumulate the material required for a single nuclear bomb,” he said.

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