Pelosi to visit Israel for talks on Iran nuclear deal

Pelosi to visit Israel for talks on Iran nuclear deal
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will head a delegation of US lawmakers to Israel this week, where the main focus of talk is expected to be the Iran nuclear talks.
2 min read
15 February, 2022
Pelosi is a vocal supporter of Israel, but has expressed annoyance at their stance towards the Iran talks [Getty]

A US congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to visit Israel this week, amid efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, which is anticipated to be at the top of the agenda. 

The House Speaker and her delegation will visit the Knesset on Wednesday, where discussions will focus on the efforts in Vienna to negotiate a new deal, according to Israeli daily Haaretz

Joining Pelosi on the trip will be fellow Democratic representatives Adam Schiff, Ted Deutch, Barbara Lee, Bill Keating, Eric Swalwell, Ro Khanna and Andy Kim, who hold key positions related to foreign relations, appropriations and intelligence. 

The US and Israel were in disagreement about reaching a nuclear deal with Israel's arch enemy Iran, with Tel Aviv insisting that regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, it will act as it sees fit. 

“Israel will maintain its freedom of action in any situation, with or without a [nuclear] deal,” Israeli PM Naftali Bennett told US President Joe Biden on a phone call.

The Biden administration was hopeful that a deal with Iran can be reached, yet any potential deal was also facing challenges from the Republican side of the house, as well as dissenting voices from inside the Democratic camp. 

Iran has been locked in talks with Western powers in Vienna, who are hoping to reignite the Iran nuclear deal and put limits on Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. 

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The previous nuclear deal collapsed in 2018, when former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew.

In the past, Pelosi criticised Israel for its attitude regarding the potential of a new nuclear deal.

“I have a good rapport with our ally. Israel is a close friend of ours. But they were still talking about ‘What are we going to do? They [Iran] are so far down the line,” Pelosi told a fundraiser last October. 

“We’re like, ‘Well, yeah, that’s why we had the agreement.’ But they just don’t seem to see that walking away from the agreement enabled the Iranians to be farther down the line,” she continued. 

Earlier this week, Israeli played host to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a highly vocally supporter of Israel and critic of the Iran nuclear deal.  

Graham met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Isaac Herzog.