In the past few days, Israel and the United States of America held secret talks, during which they discussed an alternative plan in case Iran does not soon resume negotiations on returning to the nuclear agreement, according to Hebrew media.
This came according to what was reported by the Hebrew “Walla” website, on Wednesday evening, September 22, 2021, about two Israeli officials, whom it did not name, while there was no Israeli or American comment on this until 21:15 GMT.
US Strategic Forum
The talks took place within the framework of a meeting held by the US-Israel Strategic Forum on Iran, which met for the first time since the formation of the Israeli government on June 13, 2021.
On the other hand, the decision to resume the activities of the forum was taken by US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in their meeting at the White House in late August 2021, according to the same source.
It is noteworthy that the Strategic Forum on Iran was established in the first months of the term of former US President Barack Obama, and it became the central arena in which Tel Aviv and Washington discuss differences over the Iranian file.
Also, in February 2021, a month after US President Joe Biden took office, the White House proposed resuming the work of the forum, and indeed two rounds of talks were held in March and April.
The secret meeting, which took place via a video call, was chaired by the Israeli side, National Security Adviser Eyal Hulta, and his American counterpart, Jack Sullivan, with the participation of high-ranking officials from the Israeli and American ministries of defense and foreign affairs.
While the Israeli side stressed, during the secret talks, the “necessity to move forward with an alternative plan on the Iranian nuclear file in light of the stalemate in negotiations with Tehran, and the feeling that the Iranians are gaining time and advancing at the same time in their nuclear program.”
For his part, a senior Israeli official who participated in the content of the talks told “Walla” that the Americans confirmed that they are also concerned about the impasse. He noted that the general message from the US side is that if nuclear talks do not resume soon, the Biden administration will impose new sanctions on Iran.
It is noteworthy that 6 rounds of talks were held between Iran and major international powers, in Vienna, between last April and June; In an attempt to revive the nuclear agreement, a new round has stalled.
These negotiations, which were held under the auspices of the European Union, aim to return the United States to the agreement that the administration of former President Donald Trump withdrew from in May 2018, and to push Iran to abide by its international commitments related to the nuclear program.