Dec 20, 2021 - World

Jake Sullivan to visit Israel this week to discuss Iran

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will meet Wednesday with Israeli officials including Naftali Bennett, with Iran "very high on the agenda," a senior Biden administration official told reporters on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The senior official said "time is running out" for the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, and "we will talk with the Israelis on what is going to happen in the coming weeks." Sullivan is also expected to travel to Ramallah and meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Israeli government is very concerned about the possibility of the Biden administration seeking an interim agreement with Iran.

  • Israeli officials contend a deal that, for example, sees Iran freeze their 60% uranium enrichment in return for some sanctions relief, would effectively give the Iranians billions of dollars without rolling back their nuclear program.

Driving the news: Biden will arrive in Israel on Tuesday afternoon local time and meet later that day with President Isaac Herzog. The following day he'll meet Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

  • Sullivan and his delegation will also take part in the fourth session of a U.S.-Israel working group on Iran.
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