US, Israel Sign Secret Deal to Cooperate Against Iran

Mid-December Deal Established Several Teams to Target Iran

Israeli media is reporting a secret deal was negotiated and signed by the Trump and Netanyahu governments regarding what they described as “the Iranian threat,” pledging full cooperation with one another in targeting Iran in various ways.

Negotiated behind closed doors, The deal was a series of memorandums of understanding negotiated through National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster which will see the establishment of multiple teams of both US and Israeli officials charged with targeting different aspects of Iran, from their civilian nuclear program to their defensive missile systems.

This is ultimately expected to result in “steps on the ground,” though the exact details of what this means are unclear. Both Trump and Netanyahu’s governments appear to have designs on confrontation with Iran, potentially military confrontation.

Exactly how this will change US or Israeli policy isn’t very clear. In the near term President Trump seems to be set with trying to sabotage the P5+1 nuclear deal, and Israel is perpetually beating the war drums on Iran, and indeed any other Shi’ites they come upon, so they have limited options for anything else they can do.

Much of the focus is likely to be on planning and making joint speeches about how “aggressive” Iran is being, and how super ready for war the US and Israel are, though naturally there is always a risk that any such joint operations grow from another layer of bureaucracy into launching a war outright.

Still, it’s also possible that such a proposal didn’t come with anything specific in mind, and rather just progressed because both US and Israeli officials didn’t want to seem insufficiently hostile toward Iran by not signing off on the understanding.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.