US-Israel Relationship

Israel-US to set up joint team to share intel on Iran’s nuclear program


Israeli and US officials agreed to set up a joint team for sharing intelligence about Iran’s nuclear program during recent strategic talks, according to a report Wednesday.

Last week’s talks were the first held by a bilateral group for cooperating in the effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear arms. The meeting was led by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat.

Citing three senior Israeli officials, the Axios news site reported that Israel’s initial objective was to get on the same page with the Biden administration concerning intelligence on Iran. The officials said they were satisfied by the first round of discussions.

“We are on the same page on the intelligence. There are small nuances but overall, they see data the same way. It was very positive, but it is only the beginning of a process. It will be a rollercoaster,” one of the officials was quoted saying.

Sullivan pledged to the Israelis the US would be transparent about any decisions regarding Iran and said he expects transparency in return, according to the officials, who also said the American national security adviser was upfront about the difficulties of engaging in diplomacy with Iran.

The Israeli officials also said they hoped Iran would continue to rebuff US entreaties and that the pain of American sanctions would lead the Iranians to first offer concessions.

A second meeting dealing with Iran’s regional activities and missile program will be held in the coming weeks, the officials added.

Read More: Times of Israel