Thursday, March 23, 2023

(JNS) U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said that the Iranian nuclear threat would be a “substantial topic of conversation” during his upcoming visit to Israel.

“We’ll have the opportunity to engage deeply with the new Israeli government on the threat posed by Iran. And I think we share the same fundamental objectives. And we will work through any differences we have on tactics, the same way that we have over the course of the past two years,” Sullivan said.

According to reports, Sullivan will arrive in the Jewish state next week, although the exact date has yet to be finalized.

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer landed in Washington on Monday, Jan. 9 for high-level meetings with American officials that will focus primarily on Iran’s nuclear program.

Dermer, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2013-2021, is the first member of Israel’s new government to travel to Washington, and comes as Jerusalem appears readying to ramp up a pressure campaign on the Islamic Republic.

Also on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the AIPAC Political Leadership Forum through a video call from his office in the Knesset, speaking about the importance of U.S.-Israel cooperation on Iran.

“The time has come for Israel and the United States, along with other countries, to stand together, and I look forward to discussing this with President Biden and his team,” said Netanyahu. “Today, more people agree on the issue than ever before.”

The prime minister said that people around the globe are now seeing the Iranian regime’s internal repression of its citizens. Demonstrations are taking place across the country following the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of the regime’s morality police. Amini was arrested for not wearing her hijab in accordance with government standards.

“So now, because of the brave men and women of Iran, the entire world sees what we’ve been talking about, that this is a terrible, repressive, terrorist regime,” said Netanyahu.

He also said that he is working to expand the “circle of peace,” describing diplomatic efforts between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday that there was “absolute unanimity” with Israel that Iran must be prevented from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but conceded that there were “tactical differences” between the countries on how to go about doing so.

“Now, there is no secret… that when it comes to how we do that, there may be some tactical differences. There are some tactical differences. We’ve made no secret about that,” said Price. “We have a relationship with Israel that is close enough that it allows us to have candid conversations, and when we disagree, we disagree. We tell them what we think; they certainly don’t shy away from telling us what they think. We believe that… diplomacy presents the most viable, durable, sustainable means by which to permanently and verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That has always been our focus,” he added.

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