US, Israel at ‘critical juncture,’ US security adviser tells Bennett in Jerusalem

U.S. national security advisor tells Bennett the two countries are at “a critical juncture” on heels of stalled Vienna talks.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Wednesday morning at his office in Jerusalem, where the two men discussed the ongoing Iranian nuclear threat and the risk posed by stalling Vienna talks aimed at persuading Iran to curb its nuclear development program.

After welcoming Sullivan to Israel, Bennett joked about the rainy weather caused by Storm Carmel, then reiterated the importance of the U.S.- Israel relationship.

Bennett’s remarks came on the heels of a report indicating that President Joe Biden had been ignoring his phone calls for the last three weeks.

“I want to say that the relationship between my government and the Biden administration, between Israel and the United States, is as strong as ever,” he stated.

“And being so strong and having this meaningful friendship means that we can also talk openly and candidly about all the shared challenges that we’re facing. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

Moving on to stalled negotiations towards a peaceful resolution towards ending Iran’s nuclear program, Bennett said that time was of the essence in pursuing next steps.

“These days are pretty important. What happens in Vienna has profound ramifications for the stability of the Middle East and the security of Israel for the upcoming years. And that’s why it’s such a timely meeting.”

Sullivan thanked Bennett for hosting him and relayed best wishes from Biden and his wife.

He said that he visited Israel just days before Christmas because the stalled talks placed the U.S. and Israel “at a critical juncture” regarding a “major set of security issues.”

He added that it is critical for the countries to “sit together and develop a common strategy, a common outlook, and find a way forward that fundamentally secures your country’s interests and mine.”

Earlier in December, Bennett said Iran was engaging in “nuclear blackmail” by continuing to enrich uranium at its Fordo facility.

The Israeli premier urged “every country negotiating with Iran … to take a strong line and make it clear … that it is impossible to negotiate and enrich uranium at the same time.”

“Our goal is to utilize the window of opportunity that has opened between the rounds in order to tell our friends in the U.S.: This is precisely the time to use a different toolkit against Iran’s galloping forward in the enrichment sphere.”