According to a report from Israeli TV, Israel’s Mossad spy agency chief Yossi Cohen is traveling to Washington to lobby against the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Israel’s Channel 13 reported on Wednesday that Cohen will be making the trip in the coming days and is expected to meet with senior White House and US intelligence officials. The report said Israel is trying to arrange a face-to-face meeting between Cohen and Biden.
Cohen is expected to claim that Iran is hiding details of its nuclear program in a bid to discourage Biden from lifting sanctions and returning to the deal. For decades, Israeli officials have been falsely claiming that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program.
The accusation has never been proven, and Iran’s nuclear program is subject to the most stringent inspections in the world, and a return to the JCPOA will only limit it further. Meanwhile, Israel has an undeclared nuclear arsenal, making it the only nuclear-armed state in the region, and refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
News of Cohen’s trip comes as talks are being held in Vienna to revive the JCPOA. Iran met with the other JCPOA participants on Tuesday and held indirect talks with the US through EU intermediaries. The two sides agreed to establish working groups to figure out a way the agreement can be salvaged.
A high-powered delegation from #Israel will travel to Washington to meet with the Biden administration over the #Iran JCPOA--Director of the Mossad Yossi Cohen, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, and head of Military Intelligence Tamir Heyman. https://t.co/baM9w4ZkIu— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) April 8, 2021
While it’s not clear if the Biden administration is really willing to lift sanctions on Iran and return to the deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani spoke positively of the talks on Wednesday. Rouhani said the talks marked a "new chapter" in the efforts to revive the JCPOA.