Report: Gallant pressing US for assurances Saudi Arabia won’t pursue military nuclear program

Israel’s Defense Minister meets with Biden administration National Security Council official, reportedly to discuss Saudi Arabia’s potential nuclear program – a key demand in exchange for normalization with Israel.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Defense Minister pressed a senior Biden administration official for assurances the U.S. will not permit Saudi Arabia to utilize any future nuclear program for military purposes, Walla reported Wednesday evening.

During his visit to the United States, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with U.S. government officials including the White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

According to a statement by the Israeli government, during his meeting with McGurk, Gallant raised the importance of expanding the Abraham Accords to include additional partners in the region, as well as the importance of security arrangements for this purpose.

Israeli officials informed Walla that Gallant’s talks with McGurk regarding the possible expansion of the Abraham Accords centered primarily around efforts to reach a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

In particular, the sources claimed, Gallant sought clarifications from McGurk as to how the U.S. would ensure that a Saudi nuclear program would not be used to develop atomic weapons.

Riyadh has demanded that the U.S. accept a Saudi civilian nuclear program in exchange for a deal normalizing ties with Israel.

Furthermore, Walla reported, Gallant called on the Biden administration to provide Israel with precise details regarding Saudi requests for advanced American arms, and the projected impact of future U.S. arms sales to the Islamic kingdom on Israel’s quantitative military edge in the region.

On Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen expressed optimism regarding the prospects for a peace deal with Saudi Arabia, saying an agreement was likely in the next six months.

Benjamin Netanyahu is the one who will lead the agreement with Saudi Arabia – and I believe it can happen, it is within reach, within the next six months.”