The head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency left late Saturday for talks in Washington with senior US officials, which are expected to focus on Iran’s strive for nuclear bomb.
According to reports, David Barnea is sending fresh intelligence on Tehran’s operations to American officials.
After the Vienna talks on resuming the 2015 nuclear deal had no results, Israel reportedly warned the US that sanctions on Iran should be tightened and a genuine threat of military action should be issued.
Barnea declared Iran will not have a nuclear weapon in a rare public appearance last week. He is anticipated to remind his American guests that Iran continues to deceive the world by attending the Vienna talks while continuing to pursue its nuclear program.
World powers and the Islamic Republic held negotiations in Vienna on Thursday, but they are scheduled to resume later this week.
Barnea is also expected to restate Israel’s view that any agreement achieved with Iran would not bind the country, and that Israeli efforts to thwart Tehran’s nuclear goals will continue.
Israel maintains that no deal is preferable to a poor one and that tougher sanctions are the way to go.
In a news briefing on Saturday, a senior State Department official said Iran had abandoned any compromises it had made in talks to resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal and wanted much more during the talks.
According to the official, Tehran’s actions dissatisfied not only the US and its European allies but also China and Russia, which have historically been more supportive of Iran.
On Wednesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz will fly to Washington to meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Austin as part of Israel’s efforts to change the American position, which has so far been in favor of a deal with Iran.
Meanwhile, in apparent preparation for a possible military clash with Iran, the cabinet approved an additional five billion shekels for the IDF, intended for weapons systems and Iron Dome projectiles.
Last week, Gantz informed Ynet that the latest procurement was made in anticipation of the Vienna discussions failing. “In the protection of Israel, we must be prepared for any scenario,” he stated.
“My trip to Washington will be centered on Iran and will assist international efforts. I intend to make it easier for Israel’s military to operate “he stated