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Netanyahu seeks closer US-Israeli cooperation on Iran threat

Speaking with AIPAC officials, Netanyahu praised the Iranian men and women who oppose the Islamic Republic in Tehran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with AIPAC leaders and activists in a videoconference (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Speaking to senior officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the importance of cooperation between Israel, the United States and other Western allies on the Iranian threat. 

“It’s time to close ranks between Israel and the United States – and others. And I look forward to discussing this issue with [U.S.] President Biden and his team. I think there is more of a meeting of the minds today than there has ever been,” Netanyahu said

At present, it is unclear when Netanyahu and Biden would meet. Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, Netanyahu’s close ally, arrived in Washington, D.C., on Monday evening for talks with Biden administration officials, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit the Jewish state at the end of January. 

Speaking with AIPAC officials, Netanyahu praised the Iranian men and women who oppose the Islamic Republic in Tehran, which has brutally countered anti-regime protests, sentencing dissidents to death after sham trials. More than 40 Iranians have been executed, according to a December count by CNN.

“So, now, because of the brave men and women of Iran, the entire world sees what we’ve been talking about, that this is a terrible, repressive, terrorist regime,” Netanyahu told AIPAC. 

Turning from threats to opportunities, Netanyahu stressed that his government would focus on expanding the “circle of peace” between the Jewish state and the wider Arab world. In 2020, the historic Abraham Accords produced normalization agreements between Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. 

Netanyahu revealed in recent interviews that he prioritizes establishing a historic peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The prime minister said he was “optimistic,” because many of the Arab world’s leaders increasingly view Israel as a partner rather than an enemy. 

In addition to perceiving the Iranian regime as a shared regional threat, the Arab world is increasingly interested in building commercial and technological ties with the Jewish state. 

In an exclusive interview with ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel C. Rosenberg, a senior fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, John Hannah, said that Saudi leaders appear ready for a normalization agreement with Israel.

However, the Saudis are reportedly focusing first on mending their strained ties with the Biden administration. Hannah told Rosenberg that the Saudis view peace with Israel as a strategic Saudi interest. 

“I came away with a stronger impression than I’ve ever had that … the top political and national security leadership in that country [Saudi Arabia] has made the decision that they are, in fact, prepared to make peace with Israel, to normalize relations,” Hannah said. “They see it very much in their strategic interest to do so.”

“They told us we have the same threats as Israel, the same allies and the same enemies – most importantly, specifically, the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.

The Biden administration, until recently, embraced former U.S. President Barack Obama’s path toward a nuclear agreement with the ayatollah regime in Iran. By contrast, over the years, Netanyahu emerged as a vocal opponent to forming a bad nuclear agreement with Tehran. 

Netanyahu argued in numerous speeches and media interviews that a nuclear agreement would not prevent Iran from going nuclear but, instead, pave the way towards nuclear bombs entering the hands of the Iranian regime, which openly calls for Israel’s destruction. 

These diametrically opposed positions led to political tensions between Washington and Jerusalem, especially during the Obama era. However, in recent months, the Biden administration became increasingly frustrated with Tehran’s foot-dragging in protracted nuclear negotiations between Iran and the world powers. 

On Monday, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price officially declared that a return to the controversial Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement is no longer on the table. 

“It’s not on the agenda for primarily one reason; that’s because the Iranians turned their back on it, the Iranians reneged on commitments they had made,” Price stated. “The Iranians killed the prospect for a swift return to compliance with the JCPOA.”

During an election rally in California, U.S. President Joe Biden told an Iranian-American woman in the crowd that the nuclear agreement with Iran is dead. 

“It is dead, but we are not gonna announce it. Long story,” Biden said

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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