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US, Israel to launch ‘quiet’ talks on Iran amid Israeli warmongering

While the new US administration of Joe Biden voices willingness to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, it is reportedly planning to coordinate its Iran policy with Israel – the regime that has repeatedly attacked the nuclear agreement and threatened Iran with military “action” in case the UN-backed deal survives.

Former US President Donald Trump, a close ally of Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, repeatedly attacked and later withdrew his country from the multilateral nuclear pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Biden promised to re-enter the JCPOA and pursue “diplomacy” with Iran, contrasting – at least in words – Netanyahu’s hatred of resolving the issue through diplomacy. However, his administration is reportedly planning a “quiet dialogue” with Israel over Iran, which could curtail efforts to remove obstacles and salvage the deal.

The Axios news website reported the US-Israeli plan to reconvene a “strategic working group” to discuss Iran, saying the group is intended to avoid a public spat between the two allies over Washington’s Iran policy under the Biden administration.

The working group was initially set up during the Obama administration, under which the US and five other countries — Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — reached the JCPOA with Iran; but it reconvened during the Trump administration to coordinate his country’s withdrawal from the JCPOA and its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, the Wednesday report said.

The US and Israel are planning to reconvene the forum, again, which will be led by US national security advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat, the Axios report added.

The report comes amid repeated bellicose rhetoric by the Israeli regime against Iran, with Israel’s minister for military affairs Benny Gantz saying the regime is preparing itself for “any scenario… including operative action” against Iran. Iranian officials have dismissed such threats as “nothing but psychological warfare.”

In his Wednesday remarks, Gantz also said Israel will prevent Iran from “obtaining nuclear weapons.”

This is while the Islamic Republic has repeatedly emphasized that its nuclear activities are peaceful and that it does not seek to develop nuclear weapons – a declaration based on Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s fatwa (religious decree) that bans stockpiling and using nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Unlike Israel, which is believed to be the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the region, Iran is a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), its nuclear facilities have been open to IAEA inspections, and has signed a nuclear agreement to reassure the world of the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

“Iran is a global and regional problem before anything else… That’s why we need to work together with our allies; with the US, with Europe, and with our new partners in the Middle East,” Gantz said.

Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also claimed that Iran intends to continue developing “hidden nuclear capabilities.”

The web of lies spun by Israeli officials is never-ending. Netanyahu, like his close friend Trump, has proven to be unable to keep his lies and racism to himself. In remarks on Tuesday, Netanyahu lied repeatedly and even distorted history to make his typical anti-Iran claims.

“On the eve of Purim, I would like to say to those who seek our lives, Iran and its proxies in the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, another Persian villain tried to destroy the Jewish people and just as he failed then, so too will you fail today,” he claimed.

One could only imagine the outrage the words “another Jewish villain” would cause if someone uttered those words. However, his remarks, in addition to being racist, were also untrue, especially since the Hebrew Bible has repeatedly praised Persian King Cyrus the Great as the patron and deliverer of the Jews who put an end to their Babylonian captivity some 2,500 years ago.

Iran’s condemnation of Israel for its crimes, as repeatedly clarified by Iranian officials, does not amount to hatred toward Jewish people. In fact, Iran currently hosts the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside the occupied Palestinian territories. Iran is also home to dozens of synagogues and kosher stores, and recognizes the Jewish people as a minority with a representative in parliament.

Reacting to the Israeli PM, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh slammed Netanyahu’s remarks as “bigoted lies” which he said were aimed at inciting “racist Iranophobia.”

“From saving Jews to opposing occupation, Iran has always fought oppressors. History doesn’t lie,” Khatibzadeh twitted on Wednesday.

Back in 2015, when the JCPOA was inked, Israel was among the only three regimes that strongly opposed the UN-endorsed deal. The other two were Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In recent months, relations between Israel and the two Arab countries became more overt, with a normalization deal brokered by Trump and signed between Israel and the UAE, as well as a reported visit by Netanyahu to Saudi Arabia.

 

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