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Amid spiraling tensions, Israel and US to convene strategic group on Iran

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13.04.2021

Israeli and Biden administration officials will hold the second session of a bilateral strategic group on Tuesday aimed at collaborating in the effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, Axios reported Monday.

The meeting comes following a sharp rise in tensions between Israel and Iran, and after the start of indirect talks between Washington and Tehran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, which Israel strongly opposes.

The teams, led by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat, will meet virtually on Tuesday, Axios said citing three Israeli officials, They held their first meeting in March.

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The meeting comes following revelations of an apparent cyberattack on the Iranian Natanz nuclear facility, which Tehran has blamed on Israel and amid indications the Israel-Iran conflict was increasingly being waged at sea, marking a change in the conflict that previously took place primarily via airstrikes, cyberattacks, alleged espionage activities, and on land.

It also comes amid ongoing talks in Vienna regarding a return to the 2015 nuclear deal by both Iran and the United States, a move that is staunchly opposed by Israel, particularly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Axios a key aim of the working group is to prevent surprises between the two allies, noting that it was not clear how much coordination or warnings, if any, were given before the alleged Natanz strike or the naval operations.........

© The Times of Israel


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