U.S., Israel discuss Iran nuclear deal

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Israel ‘National Security Council’ chairman Eyal Hulata at the White House on Tuesday. The two sides have discussed Iran and other regional issues.

The US-Israel Strategic Consultative Group was established in March, with Tuesday’s meeting being the first time the group has met in person. The group consists of members from the military, diplomatic, and intelligence communities from both countries.

The most pressing topic was Sullivan and Hulata’s discussion over the US’ belief that the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is through diplomacy.

“Mr. Sullivan explained that this administration believes diplomacy is the best path to achieve that goal, while also noting that the president has made clear that if diplomacy fails, the United States is prepared to turn to other options,” a White House statement read.

Israel does not share the same sentiments in regards to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but has agreed to not campaign against the US re-engaging in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA, a Barack Obama-era agreement with Iran from 2015 that former US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from in 2018, allowed signatories to monitor and curtail Iran’s nuclear capabilities over a 15-year period.

Israel has long opposed the agreement, because it allows Iran to develop some nuclear capabilities. While the US wants to reengage in negotiations with Iran, they haven’t lifted sanctions against the county and “are not going to pay upfront”.

On other matters, the two nations remain on good terms. Sullivan summed up their relationship: “We’re very closely aligned on how we see the bigger picture. We don’t see eye-to-eye on every single issue, but there’s a great deal of alignment both on how we see the challenges presented by Iran and how to ensure that we are effectively utilizing the full range of tools at our disposal.”

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