Lapid, Biden discuss emerging Iran nuclear deal in call

Conversation, officials describe as lengthy, comes after prime minister's repeated efforts to discuss terms of agreement with the U.S. president; leaders spoke of their efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon, Prime Minister's Office says

Itamar Eichner|
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, on Wednesday, spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden on the details of the emerging nuclear deal with Iran.
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  • The Prime Minister's Office said that Biden repeated his commitment to Israel's security and its ability to respond to any enemy threat: "from near or far."
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    ראש הממשלה יאיר לפיד בשיחתו עם נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן
    ראש הממשלה יאיר לפיד בשיחתו עם נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן
    Prime Minister Yair Lapid in conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday
    The PMO also said that the two leaders had a lengthy conversation on the efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
    "The leaders discussed Iran's latest acts of terrorism in the Middle East and beyond," the PMO said. "Lapid congratulated the American president for the successful U.S. operations in Syria," the officials said.
    Lapid and Biden also discussed the importance of their close relations, bilateral matters following the president's visit to Israel, by the President and the joint signing of the "Jerusalem Declaration."
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    ראש הממשלה יאיר לפיד נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן מסיבת עיתונאים חתימה הצהרת ירושלים
    ראש הממשלה יאיר לפיד נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן מסיבת עיתונאים חתימה הצהרת ירושלים
    U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Yair Lapid sign the Jerusalem Declaration In July
    (Photo: AP)
    After reports that Lapid was unable to schedule a call with the president, an senior U.S. official said on Saturday, that the call will take place within days, and that the leaders will discuss the nuclear deal.
    Israel's National Security Council chief Eyal Hulata and Defense Minister Benny Gantz both recently visited Washington for meetings with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and other senior members of the Biden administration.
    Israeli officials were trying to arrange a meeting for Lapid with Biden next month, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The initially hoped to secure a meeting for the prime minister in the White House but that was not possible because Lapid was due back in Israel in time for his son's wedding.
    A report by the UN nuclear watchdog released on Wednesday said Iran has begun enriching uranium with the second of three cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-6 centrifuges recently installed at an underground plant at Natanz.
    Like the first of those three cascades of up to 174 machines each, the second is enriching uranium to up to 5% fissile purity and the third has not been fed with nuclear material, the confidential report to member states said. A separate report on Monday said the first cascade had been brought onstream.
    Reuters contributed to this report
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