JTA — Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz met with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and agreed to establish a bilateral forum that would periodically assess the effects of sanctions on Iran.
Steinitz in his meeting Monday with Geithner said Israel believed further sanctions, as well as a credible military threat, were necessary in order to persuade Iran to shut down its suspected nuclear weapons program.
“It was agreed at the meeting that a permanent American-Israel forum would be established which will periodically assess the effect of sanctions on the Iranian economy and would review ways to increase the economic pressure,” a statement from Steinitz’s office said.
Steinitz also outlined at the meeting Israel’s policies on transferring funds to the Palestinians.
Before the Palestinians enhanced their United Nations status to non-member state, Steinitz had threatened that Israel would halt funding to the PA should they do so. Subsequent to the UN General Assembly vote, however, he withheld only $180 million to cover Palestinian debts to Israel’s electricity provider, and continued other payments.
At the meeting, Steinitz also thanked Geithner for extending $4 billion in US loan guarantees.