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Bennett to present Biden with plan to halt a nuclear Iran

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett intends to present US President Joe Biden with a plan to halt a nuclear Iran when the two hold their first meeting together in the White House later this month.

“We will present an orderly plan that we have formulated in the past two months to curb the Iranians, both in the nuclear sphere and vis-à-vis regional aggression,” Bennett told the government at its weekly meeting on Sunday.

The Biden administration is at odds with Israel over the best way to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Biden has sought a return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the Trump administration exited in 2018. Israel always opposed the deal, which it claimed only emboldened the Islamic Republic. 

Talks on a possible revival of the deal, however, have ground to a halt. In the interim, Iran has abandoned the limits set by the deal on uranium enrichment, causing the Biden administration itself to speculate about the dangers of a protracted negotiation process for the deal’s revival.

According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Iran has produced uranium metal that is enriched up to 20% fissile purity and increased the production capacity of uranium enriched to 60%.

Both are key steps in the development of a nuclear weapon: Uranium can be used to make the core of a nuclear bomb.

Then- Vice President Joe Biden gestures during a speech in Tel Aviv university on March 11, 2010. (credit: GILI YAARI/FLASH90)
“Iran is advancing rapidly with uranium enrichment” and “has already significantly shortened the time that it would take for them to accumulate the material required for a single nuclear bomb,” Bennett told the government.

“We inherited a not-so-simple situation. Iran is behaving in a bullying and aggressive manner throughout the region,” explained Bennett, who was sworn into office in May.

“I will tell President Biden that it is time to stop the Iranians – to stop this thing – not to give them a lifeline in the form of re-entering into an expired nuclear deal,” Bennett said. “It is no longer relevant, even by the standards of those who once thought that it was.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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