US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone with his Israeli counterpart Mir Ben Shabbat on Saturday, Israeli officials told Axios.
Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. During the transition, the Biden team avoided talking to foreign governments.
Driving news: Israeli officials said the call was made primarily as an introduction and to close the negotiations.
- One of the issues discussed was Iran.
- Two national security advisors also covered the Abraham Accord – the Bible Branding Administration has given individual normalization agreements between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
- In recent times, Sullivan made calls to his counterparts in the UK, France, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
- The White House did not comment on the phone with Israel’s national security adviser.
big picture: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned about President Biden’s stated goal of trying to restart the nuclear deal with Iran. Such a move could cause tension between the Biden administration and the Israeli government.
- Secretary of State Tony Blinken said at his confirmation in this week’s hearing that “there is a long way to go” until the Iran deal can be resumed.
- He insisted that the US consult with Israel and the Gulf states before taking any decision