US, Israel hold talks on Iran strategy

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


The national security advisors for the United States and Israel met virtually Wednesday to outline a shared strategy in dealing with the nuclear ambitions of Iran.

At the meeting’s conclusion, the official U.S. stance remained that diplomatic measures were the best way forward, but a White House statement indicated non-diplomatic approaches were being considered.

“[National Security Advisor Jake] Sullivan emphasized that while the United States remains committed to diplomacy as the best means for preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the United States is preparing alternative options, in coordination with its partners, should diplomacy fail,” the statement reads.

Sullivan and Israeli National Advisor Dr. Eyal Hulata also discussed various military training exercises, including aerial maneuvers conducted by Israel’s air force, which themselves could be taken as an afront by Iran.

The virtual meeting was the first for the U.S.-Israel Strategic Consultative Group (SCG) since December and the fourth during the presidency of Joe Biden.

It’s been the hope of the Biden Administration that it could foster a new agreement among the world’s nuclear powers on Iran under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal under which world powers agreed to ease economic restraints on Iran in exchange for concessions on nuclear developments.

Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – the remaining members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – have reconvened this week. The United States is not able to participate directly in the talks having left in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump.

Previous rounds of talks have proven fruitless, although Foreign Policy reported Wednesday that an unlikely U.S. ally has emerged who could salvage the deal this time.

Colum Lynch of Foreign Policy writes that Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s envoy in the talks, has expressed support for the United States and has shown the ability to smooth over tensions with Iran.

In November, Iran indicated it wanted a full renegotiation of all terms, a demand that derailed one round of talks.