Report: White House Rejected ‘Emergency’ Call Between Biden, Lapid
The White House rejected an Israeli request for an emergency phone call that between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Israel’s Channel 13 first reported Wednesday evening. The reason given, according to unnamed Israeli officials, is that Biden is on vacation. The call will be arranged “eventually,” according to the report. The topic of the call is to be the US response to the latest, and some say final, proposal for the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, which Israel opposed.
Lapid on Wednesday told foreign reporters during a briefing that: “Israel is not against any agreement. We are against this agreement – because it is a bad agreement; because it cannot be accepted as it is written now. In our eyes, it does not meet the standards that President Biden set: to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state. This agreement endangers the independence of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It creates political pressure to close the open files without completing a professional investigation.”
Channel 13 also reported that Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who left on Thursday for Washington, will not meet with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin because he is also “out of the city.” Gantz reportedly will meet with the head of US military’s Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East, and with US national security adviser Jake Sullivan. He also is set to express Israel’s objections to the nuclear deal.