Israel is trying to unite the United States and Russia for joint pressure on Iran
The head of the CIA, William Burns, visited Israel on August 11 with his first visit after taking office. One of the main topics of his talks in Jerusalem is the policy towards Iran, which both the United States and Israel continue to consider a threat to stability in the Middle East. At the same time, Washington still hopes to find a common language with Tehran on the Iranian nuclear program and hopes for the resumption of negotiations on this topic in Vienna in the near future. It is noteworthy that while Mr. Burns was in Israel, representatives of the Israeli Security Council discussed the Iranian topic in Moscow.
William Burns met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem. They discussed ways to expand and deepen cooperation between Israel and the United States in the region. The meeting was also attended by the head of the Mossad, David Barney, the new head of the National Security Council, Eyal Hulata, the military secretary of the Prime Minister, Major General Avi Gil, and Bennett’s diplomatic adviser, Shimrit Meir.
After the arrival of President Joe Biden in the White House, the United States wanted to return to the JCPOA, seeing that the sanctions pressure does not prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear program. Indirect negotiations on this topic began in Vienna in the spring, but Washington believes that the restoration of the JCPOA may be unrealistic, and therefore they are considering different options.
Among them is an interim step towards a limited easing of anti-Iranian sanctions in exchange for an agreement to freeze most of the uranium enrichment activities in Iran. However, the question is whether Tehran will agree with this approach.
Israel is discussing the situation around Iran not only with the United States. In Moscow, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, met with the new head of the Israeli National Security Council, Eyal Hulata, and his predecessor, Meir Ben-Shabbat. The interlocutors exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and the settlement of a number of regional conflicts. Israel believes that the Russian policy of reconciliation in the south of Syria has a positive impact on security in the region. The Israelis highly appreciated the actions of the Russian army in Syria, especially the efforts to counter the cleansing of the province of Deraa by government troops in the interests of pro-Iranian groups.
Lavishing compliments on the Russian military, the head of the Israeli National Security Council suggested that Moscow join Washington and Tel Aviv in their joint pressure on Tehran on the issue of freezing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. If the Kremlin takes such a step, then having lost Russian support in the UN Security Council, Iran will become much more compliant.