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Lapid tells US envoy on Iran that Tehran doesn’t intend to rejoin deal — report

Robert Malley, US Special Envoy for Iran, in Vienna, Austria, on June 20, 2021. (AP/ Florian Schroetter)
Robert Malley, US Special Envoy for Iran, in Vienna, Austria, on June 20, 2021. (AP/ Florian Schroetter)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meets with Rob Malley, the US special envoy on Iran, during his visit to the region.

According to the Ynet news site, Lapid reiterates Israel’s position that Iran is simply trying to buy time with negotiations over its nuclear program until the issue of rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal is no longer relevant. The foreign minister reportedly told Malley that Iran has no intention of actually returning to the deal, which the US pulled out of in 2018 under then-president Donald Trump.

Malley is slated to meet Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad chief David Barnea during his visit. He is not expected to meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Malley is currently on a tour of the Middle East with stops in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Despite strong Israeli opposition, the next round of talks aimed at restarting the Iran nuclear deal are slated to begin at the end of the month in Vienna.

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