Dr Mike Evans

US, Israel focus on putting more pressure on Iran

Israel and the U.S. are discussing ways to apply more pressure on Iran after efforts to restart a 2015 nuclear deal have stalled.

Israel has opposed restarting the plan with Iran, while the Biden administration has sought a fresh start after the Trump administration left the deal in 2018 after Iran’s repeated violations.

“Discussions between Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata, his American counterpart Jake Sullivan and other senior officials at the White House last week were largely focused on Iran, including preparing for a possible reality where there is no return to the nuclear deal,” Axios reported on Tuesday.

“Israel suggested several possible ways to put pressure on Tehran, including passing a censure resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors meeting in June and increasing U.S. military deterrence in the Middle East,” according to the report.

In a White House readout of Sullivan’s meeting with Hulata on April 24 the two security leaders, “They agreed to further enhance the ongoing coordination through the U.S.-Israel Strategic Consultative Group and strengthen security and diplomatic cooperation wherever possible with other regional partners.”

The call may be a shift from the previous focus on the Biden administration moving forward on its nuclear deal with Iran while Israel maintained its ability to act independently against Iran as needed. With the plan now appearing to fade from becoming a reality, the U.S. and Israel appear to be looking at other options and focusing on closer coordination to thwart Iranian threats.

The call readout also noted President Joe Biden’s plans to visit Israel in the coming months. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited the U.S. in August, extending an invitation to the president. The trip now appears to be under preparation, as the two nations continue to show a united effort against Iran and its proxies in the Middle East.