Top Israeli security officials visit Washington to discuss Iranian 'nuclear threat'

Top Israeli security officials visit Washington to discuss Iranian 'nuclear threat'
Leading Israeli security officials have travelled to Washington to meet with President Joe Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan and discuss the dangers posed by the alleged attempts of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, among other concerns.
2 min read
02 June, 2023
Tzachi Hanegbi (right) was one of the Israeli security officials who met with Biden's chief national security advisor on Thursday (Getty]

High profile Israeli security officials visited Washington on Thursday to meet with Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor to President Joe Biden, to discuss "a broad range of global and regional issues of mutual concern", with particular emphasis on Iranian attempts to acquire a nuclear weapons capacity.

Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer were hosted at the White House, where they discussed “enhanced coordination” to “prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon”.

They also discussed Israel’s determination to “counter threats from Iran and its proxies”, according to a White House-issued readout of the meeting. 

The meeting came after Iran announced its plans to install its most advanced air defence system to Bashar al-Assad to deter Israeli airstrikes against its Syrian-based proxies.

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The visit also occurred a little over a week after both Israeli Defence Forces Chief of Staff Herz Halevi and Hanegbi warned of Israel’s capability and willingness to hit Iranian nuclear sites.

Hanegbi said at the time: “If we believe there is no avoiding military action against the nuclear facilities in Iran ... I think that any Israeli leader will have full backing from Israel’s citizenry and the state to do what Menachem Begin did in 1981, what Olmert did in 2007.”

In the meeting yesterday, Sullivan agreed with Israel’s concerns over Iran and discussed the shared concerns of both countries over the deepening alliance between Russia and Iran and the importance of supporting Ukraine, including against Iranian drones.

Sullivan also stressed the importance of Israel “to take additional steps to improve the lives of Palestinians, critical to realizing a more peaceful, prosperous, and integrated region”, the readout states.

The head of Israel’s Shin Bet security agency Ronen Bar is also in the US this week for talks at the White House.

The main topic of discussion is Israel’s growing concern about the “security situation” in the occupied West Bank and the “deterioration of the Palestinian Authority”, according to Israeli sources.

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This comes off the back of the US saying it was “deeply troubled” by the Israeli government’s potentially destabilising decision to allow Jewish settlers to return to a previously abandoned illegal settlement in the West Bank.