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US denies delaying Iran nuke talks to consult with Israelis

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

A senior State Department official denies a report that the US is seeking to delay the next round of nuclear talks in Vienna in order to consult with the new Israeli government.

“We’re always happy to consult with the Israelis, and are working with the new government to find mutually convenient opportunities to do so, but it is false that we are trying to postpone the next round of talks for this or any other reason. We’ll be happy to go back to Vienna when the Iranians finish their internal consultations,” the senior official tells The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has taken the same stance as its predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu against US plans to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal.

However, a source familiar with the matter tells ToI that Jerusalem has reversed a policy instituted by the previous government, which barred Israeli officials from even discussing the details of a renewed deal between the US and Iran.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi addressed the issue during meetings with senior US officials this week in Washington, the source adds.

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