Report: White House and Israel increasingly at odds on US-Iran talks

Israel’s national security adviser reportedly told the Americans that they are not giving proper consideration to Israel’s concerns.

By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner

The Biden administration and the Israeli government are increasingly at odds over the ongoing US-Iran talks in Vienna, with Israel believing its concerns regarding a US return to the 2015 nuclear deal are not being taken into consideration.

According to a report in Axios Wednesday, Israeli officials involved in the ongoing dialogue with the U.S. on Iran said that things came to a head at a meeting between senior US and Israeli officials, two days after what is widely believed to be an Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility earlier this month.

Meir Ben-Shabbat, Israel’s national security adviser, reportedly told the Americans that they are not giving proper consideration to Israel’s concerns, while the Americans expressed disapproval of Israeli operations against Iran and Israel’s alleged failure to keep them informed.

The Israelis said that they have a right to defend themselves against Iran, while an Israeli official told Axios that the Natanz explosion “was not a surprise for the Americans.”

Israel also believes the US administration has not been forthcoming with information about the ongoing Vienna talks, while a senior American official said this was not the case.

“The US and Israel will maintain this close and candid dialogue going forward,” he said.

Ben-Shabbat, IDF chief Aviv Kochavi, IDF intelligence head Tamir Hayman, and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen will all head to the U.S. next week to discuss the Iran issue with the White House.

A senior aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We don’t think it is a done deal, and as long as we have a chance to give our input, we are going to give it a try, hoping it makes a difference.”

Israeli news site Walla reported that the policy differences between the Israeli and American sides are substantial, and there is a general atmosphere of mistrust between the two sides, making a possible rift increasingly likely.

Separately, also on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US is open to lifting key sanctions — including those against Iran’s central bank, its national oil companies, and sectors such as steel and aluminum, among others — to induce concessions from Iran, citing unnamed US officials.