US-Israel gaps on Iran smaller after Sullivan visit but remain

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan indicated after his talks with Israel’s leaders on Wednesday that a deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran in Vienna is in the offing: “Behind closed doors we are talking about a time frame of weeks,” he said. He had come to Israel, he said, “to develop a common strategy, a common outlook” that serves both their interests at a “critical juncture in facing a major set of security issues.” PM Naftali Bennett told Sullivan:  “What happens in Vienna has profound ramifications for the stability of the Middle East and the security of Israel for the upcoming years.”

The office of Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated after a separate meeting with the visitor that. “a variety of strategic and cooperative issues were discussed, chief among them the Iranian nuclear issue and Iran’s regional aggression.”  IDF chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi and director-general of the Defense Ministry Amir Eshel were also present.

According to an Israeli official, the Sullivan visit reduced the gaps between Jerusalem and Washington on the Iran issue, but disagreements remained. Asked about a possible Israeli to attack Iran, the US official commented that he would not speak for Israel. which is “a sovereign state.”  The Biden administration clearly remains committed to diplomacy, while Israel maintains that Iran is playing for time to weaponize its nuclear program

Sullivan also travelled to Ramallah to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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