Last week, in an address to the Washington Institute think tank, United States National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that Washington allows Israel freedom of action against Iran’s nuclear threat.
“We have made clear to Iran that it can never be permitted to obtain a nuclear weapon,” Sullivan said.
“As President Joe Biden has repeatedly reaffirmed, he will take the actions necessary to stand by this statement, including by recognizing Israel’s freedom of action.”
In his address, Sullivan stated that the issue “occupies the President’s attention,” along with his own, describing Iran’s nuclear program as advancing considerably.
“It is a genuine danger to regional security and to global security, and, indeed, to the U.S. And we are going to continue to take action to, yes, deter Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and then to seek a diplomatic solution that puts this on a long-term pathway of stability,” he said.
According to Sullivan, the best way to stop the Islamic Republic from obtaining an atomic weapon is an “effective agreement,” noting that the U.S. continues to engage in diplomatic channels with officials in Tehran over the nuclear program.
Sullivan criticized the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the 2015 atomic agreement and placement of strict sanctions, describing the move as a pathway that is not “clear and straightforward.”
The National Security Adviser argued that Iran’s nuclear program is advancing because a deal does not exist between the two sides.
“We will continue to send a clear message about the costs and consequences of going too far while at the same time continuing to seek the possibility of a diplomatically brokered outcome that puts Iran’s nuclear program back in the box,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan also mentioned that he engaged with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on deterring the Islamic Republic of Iran.
When pressed on the friction between the Biden administration and the Netanyahu government over Israel’s judiciary reform, Sullivan explained that President Biden has a long relationship with the Israeli Prime Minister and that the administration is ” deeply engaged with the Israeli government day by day,” describing the reports of tension as “overblown.”
“When the time is right, and when we have a visit to announce, we’ll announce it. And until then, I think kind of speculating or describing or trying to set any conditions around it just does not comport with the way Joe Biden does business and never has done business anywhere, especially with a country he loves like Israel,” he said.
Sullivan spoke about how the administration was working to strengthen the Abraham Accords, agreements created in 2020 under the Trump administration between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Morocco. Despite the Biden administration’s cold shoulder towards Saudi Arabia, Sullivan stated that the administration is working hard to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. official described the recent opening of Saudi airspace to Israeli fights as “one step along the road toward what we hope will become a full normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia.”