Israeli and US officials held secret talks last week to discuss a “plan B” in the event talks with Iran aimed at saving an unraveling nuclear deal aren’t renewed, according to a report on Wednesday.

EU-mediated negotiations began in Vienna in April aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers — an accord left hanging by a thread after former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 and ramped up sanctions.

The discussions, which involve the remaining parties seeking to persuade Washington to rejoin the deal and Iran to return to its nuclear commitments, have been stalled since June, when ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi was elected as Iran’s president.

Citing two unnamed Israeli officials, the Walla report said the secure video meeting was the first time a special bilateral strategic group aimed at collaborating on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon had convened since Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the new Israeli government took office in June.

Leading the talks at the US-Israel Strategic Consultative Group were US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, his Israeli counterpart Eyal Hulata and diplomatic officials from both countries.

The Israelis reportedly pressed for moving forward with alternative plans due to the stalled nuclear talks, feeling Iran is seeking to draw the negotiations out while advancing with its nuclear program. READ MORE

Israel, US said to discuss ‘plan B’ if Iran nuclear talks don’t resume

Josh Toupos

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