Mossad Director David Barnea has told CIA Director William Burns and other top American officials that "Israel will not stand by while Iran continues to defraud the world," about its nuclear program and terrorism, the Prime Minister's Office announced on Thursday.
Barnea has finished multiple rounds and days of meetings with Burns, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, FBI Director Christopher Wray and other top US national security officials.
During those meetings, he presented “sensitive intelligence” to hammer home his point regarding the Islamic Republic’s lies.
The Mossad chief said his US counterparts responded by saying, “The US will maintain its commitment to Israeli security... and will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
Further, he said that the Biden team said, "they would continue to cooperate fully with the State of Israel including regional situations in the Middle East and which relate to Israeli security."
Barnea holds meetings in DC
Barnea left on Monday for Washington, DC, to hold the meetings with the hope of halting the reportedly impending Iran nuclear deal.
He is known as perhaps the Israeli security establishment’s most aggressive critic of the deal, a line that Prime Minister Yair Lapid has largely adopted. Some members of the security establishment, however, believe “no deal” would be worse than a return to the 2015 JCPOA.
The spy chief’s visit is part of a series of senior Israeli officials who have been campaigning to block the deal.
Last week, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and National Security Council Chief Eyal Hulata met in Washington with Biden administration officials.
Lapid spoke to Biden by phone last week after campaigning to get phone time with the US president.
Even publicizing Barnea’s visit is not par for the course, as spymasters’ global travels are typically shrouded in secrecy. But Lapid has been using Barnea as an apolitical security expert to publicly pressure the US as of late.
On August 25, The Jerusalem Post and other media outlets were given access to the substance of Barnea’s briefing to Lapid in which he criticized the United States for rushing into a terrible deal.
Further, in the briefings, Barnea said a new nuclear pact with Iran would not block his agency from acting against the Islamic Republic in the future to protect Israel’s security interests.
“Israel is not signed on to the deal. Israel is permitted to defend itself any way possible, and will act this way. We cannot sit quietly and just watch as the danger grows closer,” Barnea, who took up his post in June 2021, told Lapid and other Israeli officials.
It seems his feeling that a new deal is imminent led him to push harder with his views, which are expected to be relayed to the US.
Part of the message Lapid seems to be using Barnea to convey is how serious Israel is about continuing to hit Iran even if a deal is signed.
On the other hand, Lapid has rejected calls from former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get into a full-fledged battle with the Biden administration through anti-Iran members of the US Congress and the American media.