Israeli officials held a secret meeting with their American counterparts last week to present a “Plan B” if the resumption of talks with Iran on returning to the nuclear deal fails, part of which would be justified by new US sanctions if Iran does not resume talks soon.
And the “Axios” website, quoting two senior Israeli officials, reported that this virtual meeting was co-chaired by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eilat Holata.
According to the report, Israeli officials stressed in the meeting the need to pursue an alternative plan, noting the “stalemate” in the negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement, in addition to accelerating the progress of the Iranian nuclear program.
On the other hand, US officials expressed concern about the delay in resuming negotiations, saying that the United States will impose new sanctions on Iran if talks do not resume soon.
Meanwhile, a White House spokesperson told Axios that the United States “continues to consult with the Israeli government on a wide range of challenges related to Iran.”
This is the first meeting of the US-Israel Strategic Working Group on Iran since the formation of the new Israeli government.
This working group was formed in the early days of the Barack Obama administration and was chaired by the two countries’ national security advisers.
Under the Trump administration, this group continued to meet as the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran.
During the Biden administration, the working group continued to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu’s government officials, and consultations in the White House resumed with new methods after a meeting last month between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
Meanwhile, Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian assured him during Tuesday’s meeting that Iran was ready to resume talks on reviving the nuclear deal soon.
After meeting with his Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Cavani said his Iranian counterpart confirmed Tehran’s “very clear intention” to return to the nuclear deal talks, but that this could take weeks.
Source: Iran Intel