Bennett And Secretary Of State Blinken Have A ‘Difficult’ Conversation

Secretary Blinken Meets with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, August 25, 2021. (Photo: State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/Public Domain)

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with US Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Thursday morning, four days after world powers resumed talks for a renewed nuclear deal with Iran in Vienna.

During the phone conversation, which was described as “long and not simple” by an Israeli diplomatic source, Bennett said that the talks with Iran should cease immediately.

“Iran is carrying out nuclear blackmail as a negotiating tactic, and this should be answered by the immediate halt to negotiations and the implementation of tough steps by the world powers,” Bennett said.

Bennett also referred to the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) this week that Iran has begun enriching uranium to the level of 20% using advanced centrifuges at its Fordow underground nuclear facility. According to the 2015 deal, Iran is not supposed to carry out any uranium enrichment at Fordow.

“The answer is not to be blackmailed but to charge the Iranians an immediate price,” Bennett said.

On Wednesday, Iran accused Israel of “trumpeting lies in order to poison the Vienna talks.”

“Israeli regime whose existence relies on tension is at it again, trumpeting lies to poison Vienna talks,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh wrote on Twitter.

“All parties in the room now face a test of their independence and political will to carry out the job – irrespective of the fake news designed to destroy prospects for success.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)