Israeli officials will urge the Biden administration to take military action against Iran during talks in Washington this week, three Israeli TV broadcasters reported on Sunday night.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and David Barnea, the head of the Mossad spy agency, are headed to Washington this week. The TV reports said the two officials will push for the US to develop a “plan B” on Iran that involves harsher sanctions and military action.
Last week, the US and Iran resumed indirect negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. The talks concluded Friday and are expected to continue sometime this week. But the US has been claiming Iran is not serious about the process, and the Israelis see an opportunity to convince the US to take a harder line.
Israel’s Channel 12 reported that the potential target would not be a nuclear facility inside Iran but rather a site like an Iranian base in Yemen, although Iran has no bases in Yemen. The report also said Barnea is expected to tell the Biden administration that Israel must continue covert attacks on Iran’s civilian nuclear program.
In November, The New York Times reported that the US warned Israel against covert attacks on Iran, calling them counterproductive. But Israeli officials said they have no intention of “letting up” even though such attacks have only caused Iran to advance its nuclear program.
Since the JCPOA talks resumed, Israeli officials have stepped up their threats against Iran. On Sunday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned that Israel will keep “all options on the table” regarding the so-called “threat” posed by Iran.
Israeli officials have also made their opposition to the negotiations known to the Biden administration. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the US should “immediately halt” the talks and increase the pressure on Iran.