US national security adviser Jake Sullivan is scheduled to visit Israel this week to discuss details of Iran’s nuclear program with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a senior Biden administration official said Monday.
Sullivan, along with the director of the National Security Council for Middle East affairs, Brett McGurk and other US officials, will also meet with Palestinian President Mohammed Abbas in Ramallah, the West Bank, to discuss strengthening US relations with the Palestinians, the official said.
But the trip is likely to be dominated by discussion of what is perceived as an Iranian threat, while negotiators report slow progress from talks on Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna to reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Biden government officials, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said U.S. and Israeli officials would discuss how they deal with Iran in the coming weeks.
“We will talk about how we view Iran’s nuclear program and its timeline,” the official said. “This will be a good opportunity to sit down together and discuss the negotiating situation, the working time frame and reiterate that we don’t have much time.”
The United States believes the time it will take Iran to produce enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon is now “very short” and worrying, a senior US official said last week. Iran denies trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Biden administration officials say the United States and Israel fully agree that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
Talks between Iran and world powers have been postponed until next week.
In his talks with Israel, Sullivan will reaffirm the US commitment to Israel’s security.
In Ramallah, Sullivan and Abbas will discuss ongoing efforts to strengthen US-Palestinian relations and advance peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis, the statement said. [my/pp]