The details about the content of the discussion come after American officials downplayed the meeting.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
New details have emerged about the clandestine meeting between President Joe Biden and Israeli Mossad head Yossi Cohen at the White House last Friday, with a revelation that Biden said a deal with Iran would not take place in the near future.
A source told Axios that Cohen told Biden that reentering the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal would spell disaster for Israel and other countries in the region, and that it would be a critical error for the U.S. to resume the deal without seriously improving it.
Biden reportedly listened to Cohen’s concerns and said reentering the deal and lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic were still far off. He told Cohen that the U.S. would always seek Israel’s input on the matter.
The details about the content of the discussion come after American officials downplayed the meeting. According to a White House statement, Cohen had been invited to speak with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Biden simply “dropped by to express condolences for the tragedy at Mount Meron.”
That version of events was disputed by a senior Israeli intelligence official, who told Axios that Cohen had a pre-planned meeting with Biden, scheduled for an hour, specifically to discuss the Iranian threat.
During his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden stated his intention to reverse Trump’s 2018 unilateral withdrawal from the deal and re-enter the agreement.
In a September 2020 CNN op-ed, Biden wrote, “Five years ago, Iran was a bad regional actor requiring active deterrence and pushback. But it had not conducted a major attack on U.S. forces in the region in years.”
“I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations… I am ready to walk the path of diplomacy if Iran takes steps to show it is ready too,” he added.
In November 2020, a senior Saudi government official slammed Biden in an interview with Israel Hayom, calling him a “a pro-Iranian president who will adopt a conciliatory policy towards Tehran that will endanger the region.”