Naftali Bennett’s visit to Washington, due on August 26, will center on Iran and its accelerated uranium enrichment program.
President Joe Biden will be hosting Naftali Bennett, Israeli prime minister, at the White House in the coming week. US press secretary’s statement confirms that Bennet’s visit to Washington will be their first since taking power.
Naftali Bennett assumed the power two months ago after the 11-year PM Benjamin Netanyahu failed to secure the seat for another term. The former right-wing leader, who served from 2009, was also in power from 1996 to 1999. Netanyahu visited the United States several times and had great rapport with various residents of the White House.
The Israeli prime minister said the Iran will be at the center of focus in his discussions with US president. Bennett stated in a press conference that the he will try to establish a strategy in collaboration with Biden to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Tension between Tehran and Tel Aviv escalated following a recent air raid on an Israeli ship in Gulf of Oman. Israel found Iran responsible and defense minister Benny Gantz warned Iran about the consequences.
Press secretary’s statement sufficed to referring to the necessity of reinforcement of cooperation between the two nation. “The visit will also be an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians and the importance of working towards a more peaceful and secure future,” Jen Psaki’s statement on Bennett’s visit to Washington read making no reference to Iran.
It is also believed that the developments in Afghanistan will also be on the negotiations agenda in Bennet’s visit to Washington. Israel has formerly stressed that the country observes Afghanistan and finds it a potential threat to its regional interests.
Bennett’s visit to Washington in time of Accelerated Enrichment
Tensions in the region escalated as a result of an assault on an Israeli tanker in the Gulf of Oman. Israel, along with the US and UK accused Iran for the attack. Tehran, however, rejected any role in the alleged drone raid as a result of which two lost their lives.
Analysts believe that the drone attack may have been a response to recent Israeli secret sabotage operations in Iran. Israel has indirectly accepted its role in Natanz facility operation which destroyed part of the enrichment equipment.
Besides, a report by the United Nations atomic watchdog confirmed on Tuesday that Iran’s enrichment program has been accelerated. Following US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Tehran has implemented a step-by-step program to decrease commitments to the deal.
Iran boosted the uranium enrichment level to 60% from 20% four months ago, following the explosion and power outage at its Natanz facility. Iran’s experimental enrichment facility at Natanz, according to the IAEA, was employing one cascade, or cluster, of sophisticated centrifuges to reach a 60% enrichment level. On Tuesday, the institution warned that Iran will also be employing a second cascade for the same objective.
In his news conference, Bennett also referred to other issues concerned with Iran. “I will go to the meeting very focused with a policy of partnership that aims to curb Iran’s destabilizing, negative regional activity, its human rights abuses, terrorism and preventing its nearing nuclear breakout.” Bennet’s visit to Washington, however, will not entail all these issue considering the urgency of a nuclear resolution.
Naftali Bennett’s visit to Washington aims at containing Iran’s potential threat. Washington, Nevertheless, still insists on revival of Nuclear deal to Iran’s benefit, putting Tel Aviv’s fresh administration in weak position.