L-R: Bahrain FM Abdullatif al-Zayani, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Emirati FM Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House
Bahraini FM Abdullatif al-Zayani and PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House, Sept. 2020
Photo: AFP
Bahraini FM Abdullatif al-Zayani and PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House, Sept. 2020

Netanyahu, Bahrain PM discuss U.S. return to Iran nuclear talks

Bahraini news agency says two leaders discussed importance of participation by regional states in any negotiations on the Iranian agreement to support 'security and stability in the region'; PMO says conversation also included Manama visit

News Agencies |
Updated: 02.25.21 , 14:37

Bahrain's crown prince spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday about the return to nuclear talks with Iran, Bahrain's state-run news agency reported, as the U.S. administration tries to revive the tattered 2015 nuclear accord.
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  • Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, also the country's prime minister, stressed to Netanyahu "the importance of the participation of regional countries in any negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file" to support "security and stability in the region," according to the official Bahrain News Agency.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    L-R: Bahrain FM Abdullatif al-Zayani, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Emirati FM Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House
    L-R: Bahrain FM Abdullatif al-Zayani, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Emirati FM Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House
    Bahraini FM Abdullatif al-Zayani and PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House, Sept. 2020
    (Photo: AFP)
    The statement marks the first response from a Gulf Arab leader to President Joe Biden's announcement earlier this month that he was seeking a return to nuclear negotiations with Iran.
    Nearly three years ago, former president Donald Trump abandoned the landmark accord and reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran.
    His withdrawal was welcomed by Gulf nations and Israel, Iran's foes in the region that are most directly threatened and staunchly opposed the deal.
    The sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf, along with Israel, were excluded from the last nuclear negotiations and remain highly skeptical of Iran's intentions.
    They have indicated they would only be open to a deal if it included limits on Iran's non-nuclear activities, including missile development and support for rebel groups and militias in the Middle East.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    U.S. President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, May 2018
    U.S. President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, May 2018
    Then-U.S. President Donald Trump announces his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, May 2018
    (Photo: AFP)
    A main reason Trump gave for withdrawing from the nuclear deal was that it did not address those issues.
    In Thursday's call, the Bahraini crown prince urged that any nuclear negotiations with Iran "include broader issues," without elaborating.
    The readout from Israel made no mention of Washington's outreach to Tehran. It said only that the crown prince repeated his invitation for Netanyahu to visit Bahrain once the pandemic allows and that the kingdom is interested in investing jointly with other countries in a vaccine production factory planned to be located in Israel.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    פראמדיק מגן דוד אדום מד"א מחסן חיסון חיסונים פייזר בית שמש
    פראמדיק מגן דוד אדום מד"א מחסן חיסון חיסונים פייזר בית שמש
    A Magen David Adom paramedic prepares to administer the coronavirus vaccine in the central city of Beit Shemesh
    (Photo: AFP)
    Following the United Arab Emirates, the island kingdom of Bahrain normalized relations with Israel last fall, an agreement forged out of mutual enmity for Iran.
    According to Netanyahu's office, the two discussed the Gulf state's possible involvement in establishing the vaccine plant.
    The two leaders also discussed a possible visit by Netanyahu to Bahrain once coronavirus restrictions would allow it, the prime minister's office said.
    "The Bahraini regent also stated that he was interested in examining the possibility of Bahrain joining an investment in a vaccine manufacturing plant that is planned to be established in Israel together with other countries," the statement said.

    First published: 14:10 , 02.25.21
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