Israel consulted with the Biden administration prior to launching two covert strikes against Iran, in June against a nuclear centrifuge facility and in September against a missile base, The New York Times reported over the weekend.
The report, based on talks with over a dozen US and Israeli anonymous officials, says that despite the more transparent relationship that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has cultivated with the Biden administration, there is growing tension between the two sides over the US commitment to reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
After a “difficult” conversation between Secretary of State Blinken and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett ten days ago, Bennett sent Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Mossad head Dovid Barnea to Washington this week with new intelligence on Iran’s nuclear activity.
Biden administration officials have stepped up tough talk against Iran but both Israeli officials left the US still worried that the Biden administration is nevertheless still determined to rejoin the nuclear deal.
Israel fears that the US is holding clandestine back-channel talks with Iran and that a new deal is just a matter of time.
Israel is also concerned that after the Biden administration signs a deal with Tehran, it will try to block Israel from carrying out additional sabotage attacks and senior Israeli defense officials are seeking a guarantee from Washington that it will not try to restrain Israel’s sabotage attacks even if a nuclear deal is signed.
While the US plays Middle Eastern politics, Israel is fighting for its very survival.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)