'If diplomacy with Iran fails, the US is prepared to turn to other options'

US National Security Advisor to Israeli counterpart: Biden believes diplomacy is the best path with Iran, but there are other options if that fails.

Elad Benari ,

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
REUTERS/Leah Millis

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday hosted Israeli National Security Advisor Dr. Eyal Hulata and a senior Israeli interagency delegation at the White House for a meeting of the US-Israel Strategic Consultative Group.

The meeting was attended by senior US and Israeli defense, military, intelligence, and diplomatic officials. The two sides exchanged views on the most pressing challenges impacting the security and stability of the region, and expressed their shared determination to address the threats facing Israel and regional partners.

According to a statement from the White House, during the meeting Sullivan emphasized President Joe Biden’s fundamental commitment to Israel’s security and to ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.

Sullivan explained that the Biden 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.

“The National Security Advisors agreed to maintain an open and constructive dialogue, and to expand the close coordination between their respective interagency teams on vital issues impacting Israel’s national security and regional stability,” the White House said.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The previous Iranian government, headed by former President Hassan Rouhani, had been holding indirect talks with the US on a return to the agreement.

The negotiations were adjourned on June 20, two days after Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential election, and no date has been set for a resumption of dialogue.

A senior US official said last week that the window is still open to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but won't be forever.

On Monday, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the country foresees talks with world powers aimed at reviving its nuclear deal resuming by early November.

The comments marked the first time Iran has suggested a rough date for a possible return to the table.

During his speech at the UN General Assembly last week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on the international community to take action against Tehran, hinting that Israel might take unilateral steps if necessary.

“Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment; and so has our tolerance. Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning,” he said.

“There are those in the world who seem to view Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, or they've just become tired of hearing about it. Israel doesn't have that privilege.”

“We will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”



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