In Call, Biden Tells Bennett He Plans to Visit Israel in Coming Months

The two also discuss Iran's demand that the U.S. delist its Revolutionary Guards from the terror organization blacklist ■ Israel’s national security advisor will visit Washington this week, White House says

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House, August 2021.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House, August 2021.Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

U.S. President Joe Biden announced his plans to visit Israel in the coming months in a call with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday, a statement from the Premier Minister's Office and the White House said.

The phone call also touched on Iran and steps Israel is taking to quell Jerusalem violence, the premier's office statement said.

The two leaders also discussed Iran's demand that the U.S. delist the Revolutionary Guards from the country's list of designated terrorist organizations, which Israel has strongly opposes.

The removal of the Revolutionary Guards Corps from the U.S. blacklist is one of the outstanding issues remaining in the talks over a new Iranian nuclear deal.

"Israel has clarified its position on the issue," Bennett said, according to the statement, "The Revolutionary Guards are the largest terrorist organization in the world.

"I am sure that President Biden, a true friend of Israel who cares about its security, will not allow the Revolutionary Guards to be removed" from the list, he said.

According to a statement from the White House, Israel’s National Security Advisor Eyal Hulata will visit Washington this week.

In recent weeks, Israel has been conducting an intensive campaign in the U.S. against removing the organization from the blacklist. Following that, White House officials, unlike those at the State Department, have signaled that they would side with Israel and ask to leave the Revolutionary Guards on the list.

In the call, Bennett also briefed Biden on efforts to end the violence and incitement in Jerusalem. Hulata last visited Washington in February to meet with his U.S. counterpart, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, prior to the last round of Vienna talks on the Iran nuclear deal. The upcoming visit comes in the face of deadlocked talks between Iran and the world powers, as well as Israel's full court press aimed at convincing the Biden administration from removing the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corp from the U.S. list of designated terrorist organizations.

The White House said after the conversation that the two discussed the common security challenges facing the two countries, in the region and around the world, including the threat of Iran and its proxies, and the president accepted Bennett's invitation to visit Israel.

Biden's visit to Israel is scheduled to take place in early summer, though no date has been set yet.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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