The United States and Israel agreed Tuesday to form a partnership focusing on the threat of drones and precision-guided missiles produced by Iran and distributed to its proxies in the region.
The new working group was agreed on during a meeting in Washington between National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat.
Sullivan invited the latter to Washington during a call earlier in the month after Tel Aviv grew increasingly concerned over what it said was a lack of US transparency regarding its indirect talks with Iran.
Washington and Tehran will begin their third round of indirect talks over a new nuclear deal after the 2015 deal, known as the JCPOA, was abandoned by former President Donald Trump.
“The US and Israeli officials discussed their serious concerns about advancements in Iran’s nuclear program in recent years. The United States updated Israel on the talks in Vienna and emphasized strong US interest in consulting closely with Israel on the nuclear issue going forward,” the White House said after Tuesday’s meeting.
As for the Iranian threat, the officials agreed to establish an inter-agency working group to “focus particular attention on the growing threat of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Precision Guided Missiles produced by Iran and provided to its proxies in the Middle East Region.”
Iranian proxies and militias such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah continue to threaten Israel and vow to “wipe it off the map.”
While Israel has said it will not abide by any potential US-Iran deal that does not serve its own interests, the White House said that US officials told their Israeli counterparts on Tuesday of “President Biden’s unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”
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