The director of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, David Barnea, visits the United States for talks with senior US government officials on the Iranian problem.

According to the Times of Israel, Barnea intends to persuade the Biden administration not to conclude an interim agreement with Tehran that does not provide for Irans return to full compliance with all the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear programme. The head of Mossad will seek international support for tough sanctions against Tehran.

According to the newspaper, Barnea is going to Washington in the belief that Israel will continue to oppose Tehrans nuclear activities even if an agreement with Iran could be reached.

The article reports that Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz is also due to visit the United States and Iran is also likely to be the focus of his talks. On 3 December it was announced that the Vienna talks on the restoration of the JCPOA would resume in the middle of next week.

After the meeting of the Joint Commission on the JCPOA, diplomats from Britain, Germany and France said that the proposals submitted by Iran at the Vienna talks contrasted with the previousdifficult compromisesreached during the previous six rounds of negotiations.

Moreover, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stressed that the new Iranian government has not demonstrated a constructive approach to the Vienna talks.