US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid are likely to meet in September as an agreement to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran appears nearer.
Israel’s Kan news, citing unnamed officials, reported on Saturday that the two sides are discussing the meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. World leaders often hold bilateral meetings while attending the annual event.
As negotiations to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are advancing, Israel is increasingly criticizing the impending deal for being too weak to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visiting Washington met with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to discuss the issue.
Speaking to leading Washington think tanks, Gantz said on Saturday that “improvements are necessary” in the new nuclear agreement.
“Iran has gained knowledge, infrastructure and capabilities” in recent years, Gantz said, “much of which is irreversible.”
According to Times of Israel he added, “this will enable Iran to further expand its nuclear program during the period of an agreement that would have fewer restrictions.” And Iran “would be able to acquire a nuclear weapon when said agreement would end in 2031.”
He emphasized that “Improvements are necessary in the nuclear agreement in discussion – with an emphasis on the ‘sunset’ clause.”
Iran is currently reviewing a US response to its position earlier sent to the European Union, which acts as a mediator between the two sides.