WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- President Joe Biden reportedly told Mossad chief Yossi Cohen that the U.S. is not close to returning to the nuclear deal with Iran, according to an American news report.
The report, published in Hebrew on the Walla site and in English on Axios, cited an unnamed senior Zionist official briefed on the Friday talks.
According to the report, Cohen told Biden that it would be a mistake for the U.S. to return to the deal "without improving” it. Biden reportedly responded that the U.S. had a long way to go before it agrees to a return to full compliance with the 2015 agreement.
U.S. officials said Biden "dropped by” a meeting at the White House between his National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Cohen.
The meeting was reported by Israel’s Channel 12 and then confirmed by a spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, who said that Cohen and Sullivan were meeting to "discuss regional security issues.”
"President Biden dropped by to express condolences for the tragedy at Mount Meron,” the spokesperson said, referring to the crush in Occupied Palestine that killed 45 Zionist extremists.
However, the Israeli official disputed the account, telling Axios the meeting with the president was pre-planned specifically to discuss Iran and lasted for an hour.
Channel 12 had reported Friday that Netanyahu briefed Cohen in advance on the main issues to discuss with the American president. The issues weren’t specified, but the report came after Cohen and other top Zionist security officials held talks with senior American officials this week over the Biden administration’s plans to rejoin the 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program, which the occupying regime of Israel opposes in its current form.
The State Department declined to comment on the meeting or even to confirm that it had happened, but said the Biden administration is committed to "coordination and transparency” with the occupying regime of Israel in talks about the Iran nuclear program.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday denied reports of an agreement over the exchange of prisoners between Tehran and Washington.
Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said while the issue of prisoners has always been on Iran’s agenda, the Sunday evening report by Lebanon’s Arabic-language Al-Mayadeen news network is untrue.
"The issue of prisoners has been a humanitarian issue which has always been on the agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran and has been pursued through other conversations and [diplomatic] channels separately from the JCPOA or related issues,” Khatibzadeh said.
Al-Mayadeen had quoted informed sources as saying that Washington would release four Iranians detained in the U.S. and $7 billion of Iran’s illegally frozen funds in exchange for four Americans detained in Iran.
In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price denied the report on Sunday. "As we have said, we always raise the cases of Americans detained or missing in Iran. We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families,” he said.
Khatibzadeh also denied reports that Tehran and London had been in talks over the release of Nazanin Zaghari, an Iranian national who was found guilty of propaganda activities against the government last month and sentenced to one year in prison.
The remarks came after a British Foreign Office spokesman claimed that "legal discussions are ongoing” to "explore options to resolve” the case.
Khatibzadeh said the debt dates back to several decades ago but has not been paid due to unimportant reasons.
"The original debt must have been paid off a long time ago,” the spokesman stated. "The sooner the British government fulfills its obligation, the better.”