JERUSALEM: The head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency will visit the United States in early September for talks on the possible revival of the Iran nuclear deal, an official said on Sunday.

The announced visit is the latest in the Jewish state’s push to sway Western powers from a deal to return to the landmark 2015 deal with Tehran.

Israel says a deal would facilitate the funding of ‘Iran-supported militants’, while not preventing Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon — a goal Iran has always denied.

Mossad chief David Barnea will “be visiting Washington in a week to participate in closed door meetings in Congress on the Iran deal,” a senior Israeli official said on condition of anonymity, without providing further details.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Israel’s “diplomatic fight” against the deal included its national security adviser and defence minister holding recent meetings in the United States.

“We are making a concerted effort to ensure the Americans and Europeans understand the dangers involved in this agreement,” Lapid said, stressing what was signed in 2015 was “not a good deal,” and that the one currently being formulated entails “greater dangers.”

In 2018, then-US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. His successor Joe Biden has sought to return to the deal, and after almost a year-and-a-half of talks, recent progress has put the Jewish state on edge.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2022

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