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US and Israel leaders discuss Iran, Syria

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Washington, Feb 07: US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett over the phone on Sunday, according to a White House statement.

Biden told Bennett that he was looking forward to visiting Israel later this year.

US and Israel leaders discuss Iran, Syria

What did the two leaders discuss?

Israel's prime minister congratulated Biden for last week's deadly raid in Syria that killed the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, according to a press release by the Prime Minister's Office.

He also thanked Biden for his "steadfast support" of Israel, "especially with regards to American assistance towards the Iron Dome."

Biden said that his administration gives "full support for replenishing Israel's Iron Dome System," according to the White House statement. The Iron Dome system is used to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and needs to be restocked following last year's 11-day war between Israel and Hamas.

Bennett and Biden also discussed concerns around Russian military buildup along its border with Ukraine. US government officials warned again on Sunday that a Russian invasion could come soon.

US and Israel leaders discuss Iran, Syria

'Israel reserves its right to act in any case'

Bennett and Biden also discussed Iranian military activity in the Middle East, with the White House statement spoke of the "threat posed by Iran and its proxies" and Israel denouncing "growing Iranian aggression."

Israel's Prime Minister office said that the two leaders discussed "steps to block the Iranian nuclear program."

The Biden administration has worked to reestablish the 2015 international nuclear deal between Iran and other countries, which former US President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018.

Israel objects to attempts to restore the deal.

Earlier Sunday, Bennett said Israel is not bound by any agreement reached by powers negotiating with Iran in Vienna. Israel has repeatedly threatened to strike Iran.

"Israel reserves its right to act in any case, with or without an agreement," Bennett told his Cabinet early Sunday.

Source: DW

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