Israel and US hold first strategic group meeting on Iran, regional issues

The US-Israel Strategic Consultative Group has completed its first meeting, held via videoconference and led by the nations’ national security advisers.

According to a spokesperson for the American NSC, “the two sides shared perspectives on regional security issues of mutual interest and concern, including Iran, and expressed their common determination to confront the challenges and threats facing the region.”

And US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben-Shabbat “agreed on the importance of strategic interagency consultations and pledged to continue these engagements.”

Collage: Israeli National Security Council chairman Meir Ben-Shabbat (right), and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. (Flash90, AP)

US envoy on Iran Robert Malley told the Axios news site ahead of the meeting that neither Washington nor Jerusalem wishes to see a return to the very public discord that existed between the countries’ leaderships during the run-up to the signing of the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran.

“We don’t always agree, but the talks are extremely open and positive. While we may have different interpretations and views as to what happened in 2015–2016, neither of us wishes to repeat it,” Malley said.