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Meeting US Senate delegation, Netanyahu talks Iran threat, Abraham Accords

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials meet with a bipartisan delegation from the US Senate to discuss strengthening the Abraham Accords (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials meet with a bipartisan delegation from the US Senate to discuss strengthening the Abraham Accords (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Just before the Deri ruling was issued, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with a bipartisan delegation from the US Senate to discuss ways to expand and strengthen the Abraham Accords.

The meeting, which included Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington Michael Herzog and US envoy to Israel Tom Nides, also talked about the Iranian nuclear program. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu offered his vision of pressuring Iran economically and diplomatically while posing a credible military threat, as a return to the 2015 JCPOA seems increasingly unlikely.

The American group is led by Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen along with Republican Senator James Lankford, and includes Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet and Mark Kelly, and Republicans Dan Sullivan and Ted Budd.

The group asked not to meet with far-right ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir or any members of their factions.

The lawmakers are part of the Senate’s Abraham Accords Congressional Caucus, which was established last year along with a parallel panel in the House of Representatives in order to expand the legislative branch’s role in promoting the normalization agreements Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

Israel is the last stop on the delegation’s trip to all four Abraham Accords countries, which began last Thursday.

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