By Arab News
US President Joe Biden will sign an agreement with Israel this week pledging that both countries will use “all elements of national power” to ensure that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon, Israeli officials said on Tuesday.
The declaration of a joint stance against Iran’s nuclear program and regional aggression will be the centerpiece of Biden’s visit to Israel this week, after which he will travel to Saudi Arabia.
Iran is at the top of Israel’s agenda for meetings with US representatives at all levels, including Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s meeting with Biden, one official said. “Iran is continuing to violate its obligations and continues to deceive the international community.”
The official said Iran was “playing for time” in talks aimed at reviving the collapsed 2015 deal to curb its nuclear program. “As long as Iran believes time is on its side, it will not give in or make any concessions. Time has run out and it is crucial to exert pressure on Iran.”
Collaboration with the Biden administration on the Iran front was “very strong,” and Israel was grateful for it, the official said, and work on a joint strategy would be taken “to the next level” during Biden’s visit.
The new joint declaration would be “a living testimony to the unique quality, depth and scope of the US-Israel relationship,” an Israeli diplomatic source said on Tuesday. “It expresses the warmth and profound commitment to the relationship on both sides, specifically to Israel’s security, prosperity and wellbeing.”
Before traveling to Jeddah Biden is expected to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, and visit Augusta Victoria, a Palestinian hospital in east Jerusalem, where he will announce that the US is restoring aid to Palestinian hospitals in the city.
The Biden administration refused to allow Israeli officials to accompany the president in occupied EastJerusalem, indicating that they do not recognize that part of the city as Israeli.