Sullivan, Hulata meet in Washington to discuss Iran, regional issues

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is expected to meet the US national security advisor on Friday, as Israeli officials are trying to convince the Biden administration not to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal.

The White House (illustrative). (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The White House (illustrative).
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON – US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan hosted his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, at the White House on Tuesday, as Iran and the superpowers are getting closer to reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

The two consulted “on a broad range of global issues and issues of mutual concern,” the White House said in a statement.

“Sullivan underscored President [Joe] Biden’s steadfast commitment to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter its enemies and to defend itself by itself against any threat or combination of threats, including from Iran and Iranian-backed proxies; and our commitment to ensure Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon,” the statement said.

The two also discussed Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia and “exchanged views on advancing regional integration and normalization with the Arab world.”

 US national security adviser Jake Sullivan holds a news briefing about the situation in Afghanistan at the White House in Washington, US, August 17, 2021 (credit: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS) US national security adviser Jake Sullivan holds a news briefing about the situation in Afghanistan at the White House in Washington, US, August 17, 2021 (credit: LEAH MILLIS/REUTERS)

They also “discussed plans for the upcoming US-Israel Strategic High-Level Dialogue on Technology, and ways to expand and enhance bilateral cooperation on critical and emerging technologies to further solutions to address global challenges.”

“Sullivan also stressed the need to take continued steps to improve the lives of Palestinians, which are critical to peace, security and prosperity,” the White House said.

Israel moves to thwart Iran nuke deal revival

Israel warned against the original Iran nuke deal and opposes Biden’s efforts to revive it. It fears the US will make last-minute concessions that will make what Jerusalem considers to be a bad agreement even worse.

Biden spoke with three signatories to the Iran nuclear deal on Sunday about the importance of constraining Tehran’s “destabilizing regional activities” as Israel moved to thwart the revival of the 2015 agreement.

Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a wide-ranging conversation about global issues, including Iran. Russia and China, which also signed onto the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran deal, were not part of the conversation.

The four men “discussed ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program” and “the need to strengthen support for partners in the Middle East region.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is expected to meet Sullivan on Friday. Israeli officials are trying to convince the administration not to rejoin the 2015 deal.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.