Tel Aviv and Washington have decided to kickstart deep talks on Iran’s enrichment of uranium to 84%, which is close to what is needed for developing a bomb. A senior delegation from the Israeli government will travel to the US capital next week to meet with officials from the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department.
The Israeli delegation will include Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Council chief Tzachi Hanegbi.
Dermer and Hanegbi are expected to meet with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, political sources reported.
According to the Tel Aviv-based Walla! News, the visit will precede a visit by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Israel next week to continue such talks.
Austin will arrive in Tel Aviv at the end of next week. He is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and President Isaac Herzog.
The meetings will cover various major issues, including cooperation, regional developments, and the situation in the Palestinian arena, but the central issue will be Iran’s nuclear program, reported Walla! News.
A probe by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), into Iran’s nuclear activities found particles of 83.7%-enriched uranium, the highest level of enrichment ever achieved by the cleric-led country.
The IAEA said that it will be discussing the enriched uranium with Tehran.
Netanyahu spoke with several state leaders and stressed that Israel considers Iran enriching uranium to 90% a red line.
The prime minister and other Israeli officials have stressed in recent weeks that presenting a credible military threat is necessary to stop Iran from threatening regional and global security.
For his part, US Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl said Tuesday that Tehran can enrich a sufficient amount of uranium in 12 days to a level of 90 % – the level of enrichment needed to produce a crude nuclear weapon.