Israel and US officials to hold first talks on Iran, Abraham Accords

Biden has said that if Tehran resumed strict compliance with the 2015 agreement, Washington would rejoin it.

IRGC siezes ship near Bu Musa Island, Iran (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
IRGC siezes ship near Bu Musa Island, Iran
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Israel and the Biden administration will soon hold their first talks on Iran and the Abraham Accords.
Israel's National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and his United States counterpart Jake Sullivan spoke for the first time Saturday night and agreed that they would soon discuss regional issues such as Iran and the Abraham Accords, according to the Prime Minister's Office.
It is the first conversation between the two men since US President Joe Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday.
Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen will travel in the next month to Washington to meet with Biden and the head of the CIA, according to Channel 12. His delegation will also include officials from the foreign and defense ministries.
According to the report, the delegation will present Israeli intelligence on Iran to the Biden administration. They will also ask the US to ensure that any future agreement with Iran includes an end to both uranium enrichment and the production of advanced centrifuges.
Additionally, the delegation will reportedly insist on the halting of Iranian support for terror organizations, including Hezbollah, which currently threatens Israel's northern border.
According to Channel 12, they will request an end to Iranian entrenchment in Turkey, Iraq and Yemen. They will also ask for The International Atomic Energy Agency to have full access to Iran's nuclear sites.
Israel is concerned about Biden's interest in rejoining the 2015 Iran deal, fearing that such a move would empower rather than weaken Iran's ability to pursue a nuclear weapons program.
The Trump administration had agreed with Israel's assessment that the deal, signed between Tehran and the six world powers to curb Iran's nuclear powers was ineffective.
But Biden, who was US vice president when the deal was signed, believes that it can be an effective tool.
At his Senate conversation hearing last week US secretary of state nominee Anthony Blinken said that the Biden administration would consult with regional allies before returning to the deal.
On Friday Iran said little could happen with regard to Biden's intention to return to the deal, unless his administration rescinded the crippling sanctions imposed upon it by the Trump administration. 
Biden "can begin by removing all sanctions imposed since [president Donald] Trump assumed office and seek to re-enter and abide by the 2015 nuclear deal without altering its painstakingly negotiated terms," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in the magazine Foreign Affairs.
"In turn, Iran would reverse all the remedial measures it has taken in the wake of Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal," he said on Friday, adding that the "initiative squarely rests with Washington"
Since Trump abandoned the deal in 2018, Iran has breached its key limits one after the other, building up its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, refining uranium to a higher level of purity and using advanced centrifuges for enrichment.
Biden has said that if Tehran resumed strict compliance with the 2015 agreement, Washington would rejoin it.
"But we would use that, as a platform with our allies and partners... to seek a longer and stronger agreement and also... to capture these other issues, particularly with regard to missiles and Iran's destabilizing activities," Blinken said on Tuesday.
"Having said that, I think we're a long way from there," he said.
Zarif said temporary limitations on Iran's defense and missile procurements under the 2015 deal cannot be renegotiated.
Separately, Biden has indicated that he intends to support the Abraham Accords, under whose rubric normalization deals were reached between Israel and four Arab countries; the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.
Reuters contributed to this report.