Article: Who is Bibi’s Iran project manager – Yossi Cohen or Meir Ben Shabbat? -analysis

Yonah Jeremy Bob|2021.02.14

Whatever Biden’s timeline is for moving forward on the Iran issue – be it before Tehran’s June elections or at a later date – the identity of the Israeli emissary has become clouded as time goes by.

When Joe Biden  first elected president, reports emerged that sometime in February Mossad Director Yossi Cohen would lead a delegation to jump-start talks over the Iran nuclear standoff.

Some reports indicated that Cohen would be given an official status, as he received in the beginning of the coronavirus crisis when the Mossad was put in charge of acquiring medical equipment. The idea floated seemed to indicate that he would also receive authority over officials from a variety of government ministries.

These leaks may not represent Kochavi himself who is said to have worked seamlessly and hand-in-hand with Cohen in communicating Israeli positions to CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie during the top US general’s recent visit

Moreover, however Kochavi’s speech played in the media, his positions were well-known by all top Israeli officials from the last two years of meetings on Iran.

The IDF chief has no interest in intervening regarding who the prime minister’s messenger is to the US, and is far more concerned about sending a deterrent message directly to the ayatollahs.

In terms of Cohen’s connection to current Biden administration officials, it could be viewed as a mixed bag.

On one hand, he was Netanyahu’s national security adviser during the latter part of the Obama administration when the two sides were constantly knocking heads. The fall out from that period could continue to create distrust even now.

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