Israeli PM finally receives much coveted call from Biden

TEHRAN, Feb. 18 (MNA) – A month after taking office, US President Joe Biden has finally called the Israeli regime's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had awaited long for the call.

In a series of tweets, Netanyahu’s office claimed that "the conversation was very warm and friendly and continued for approximately one hour,” adding that they specifically talked about the so-called Abraham Accords - the US-brokered normalization deals. 

According to the Press TV, Netanyahu’s office added that the two sides noted their personal ties of many years and said they “would work together to continue strengthening the steadfast alliance between Israel and the US.”

Asked by reporters about the call, Biden said it was a “good conversation”. He did not further elaborate on the issues brought up during the call.

The White House later provided a readout of the call, which said Biden affirmed his personal history of steadfast commitment to Israel’s security.

“Together, the leaders discussed the importance of continued close consultation on regional security issues, including Iran,” the readout said. “The president emphasized US support for the recent normalization of relations between Israel and countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”

Netanyahu enjoyed a warm relationship with former US President Donald Trump. He was Trump’s third call after taking office on January 20, 2017.

Early last year, Netanyahu described Trump as the “greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House.”

However, the Israeli prime minister had a strained relationship with former President Barack Obama, partly because Obama signed a multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015. Biden was vice president when the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was inked.

The JCPOA was abandoned by Trump in 2018 – a move that Netanyahu had forcefully campaigned for. He also lauded Trump for quitting the JCPOA and his “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic.

When running for president, Biden said he would rejoin the JCPOA if elected, getting him and the Israeli premier off to a shaky start.

Almost a month has passed since the new US president’s inauguration, prompting many to speculate that Netanyahu was being snubbed by Biden, who had already called leaders of Canada, Mexico, South Korea, France, and the UK among others.

The hawkish Israeli prime minister has already called for continued US pressure against Iran, saying the US will lose its leverage if it returns to the JCPOA without demanding more in return.

Iran, for its part, has strongly rejected calls to make concessions given Washington’s illegal withdrawal from the already negotiated nuclear pact, which was also propped up in the form of a UN Security Council resolution at the time.

KI/PR

News Code 170113

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