US holds secret talks with Israel for ‘plan B’ on Iran nuclear issue

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan (Ting Shen - Bloomberg)

Middle East Monitor  /  September 23, 2021

The United States and Israel held secret discussions last week on a possible “plan B” on the Iranian nuclear issue, Axios reported on Wednesday. It was the first time that a top-secret American-Israeli working group on Iran, described as “strategic”, has convened since the Bennett coalition government took office.

According to two senior Israeli officials cited by the news website, the meeting was held via a secure video link. It was led by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata. Both stressed the need to move ahead with a “plan B” on Iran due to the stalemate in diplomatic talks and the acceleration of Tehran’s nuclear program.

One Israeli official apparently said that the US will impose additional sanctions on Iran if talks don’t resume soon.

“The US remains engaged in ongoing consultations with the Israeli government on a range of issues related to the challenge posed by Iran,” confirmed a White House spokesperson.

Iran will be ready to resume the Vienna talks on its nuclear program in a few weeks, a spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry was reported as saying by Axios.

Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian met with the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, in New York on Tuesday, and will also meet with the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain this week to discuss a possible resumption of the Vienna talks.