Thursday, March 23, 2023

(JNS) Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi met in Washington on Monday, March 6 with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken amid growing concern in Jerusalem over Iran’s nuclear progress.

That day, Jake Sullivan, U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, hosted a meeting of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Consultative Group, which included Hanegbi and Dermer, as well as “a senior Israeli interagency delegation,” according to a joint statement, which the White House provided.

“They were joined by senior representatives from their respective foreign policy, defense and intelligence agencies,” it added. Both sides “pledged to enhance coordination on measures to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and to further deter Iran’s hostile regional activities,” and Israeli and U.S. officials reviewed joint U.S. military and Israel Defense Forces exercises.

The two high-level meetings come after Iran indicated over the weekend its “readiness” to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog last month found uranium enriched to 83.7% in the Islamic Republic.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, who was in Tehran for two days of meetings, said that Tehran will allow the IAEA to reinstall some monitoring equipment; however, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that inspectors would not be given access to several sensitive sites.

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