Mossad chief David Barnea warned his US counterparts against joining a restored nuclear deal with Iran, Israel revealed on Thursday, after the spy chief returned from Washington. During his trip, he met with the heads of the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Council, the Pentagon, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as senior State Department officials.
Barnea showed the intel chiefs “sensitive intelligence materials” and made it clear that “Israel will not be able to stand idly by while Iran continues to deceive the world,” according to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s office. The Americans reassured him that the US remained “committed to the security of the State of Israel,” however.
“The Americans emphasized that they will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon and that they will continue to act in full cooperation with the State of Israel with regards to regional issues in the Middle East concerning the security of the State of Israel,” the statement continued.
While National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed meeting with Barnea, he declined to provide any details, merely stating that the pair had discussed “a range of global and regional issues” and claiming the meeting had been set for some time. Israeli officials have been spending more time with their US and European counterparts, seeking to head off the revived agreement.
Israeli leaders have claimed for over two decades that Iran is months away from developing a nuclear bomb, though Tehran insists its intentions are peaceful. The original nuclear deal, signed in 2015 by the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the EU, as well as Iran, was supposed to repeal many of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic while limiting its ability to enrich uranium far below the level needed to build an atomic bomb. The US pulled out under then-president Donald Trump in 2018, declaring the treaty fundamentally flawed and slapping further sanctions on Tehran.
A draft of the new deal leaked last month shows a four-stage process starting with an immediate lifting of sanctions on 17 Iranian banks and 150 other economic entities. Iran would also immediately begin scaling back its nuclear activities, which it increased beyond levels permitted by the 2015 deal when none of the other parties held to their terms.