Report: U.S., Israel to Launch Secret Iran Forum in Coming Days

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The U.S. and Israel will launch a strategic working group on Iran in the coming days, which will focus on intelligence assessments about its nuclear program, Axios reported Wednesday.

The two sides are planning secret discussions in order to avoid a public spat over U.S. policy on Iran under the Biden administration, as happened with the Obama administration when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against the nuclear deal during a speech to a joint session of Congress.

Netanyahu reiterated Israel would do everything to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, regardless of any attempts to restart the nuclear deal.

“Israel believes that going back to the old nuclear agreement will pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal. We remain committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” his office said in a statement.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on Wednesday warned Iran’s decision to limit access to U.N. inspectors of its nuclear facilities required an immediate response from the international community.

“Iran is crushing the last vestiges of oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency and continues to challenge and threaten regional stability,” Ashkenazi said.

“Iran’s extreme steps necessitate an immediate international response,” he said.  “The Iranian policy is a statement of intentions as to its desire to continue to clandestinely develop nuclear capabilities.”

“Israel sees this step as a threat and it must not go by without response. We will never allow Iran to control the capability to acquire a nuclear weapon.”

A day earlier, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s said it was “deeply concerned” that Iran secretly kept “undeclared nuclear material” that Netanyahu has described as a “secret atomic warehouse.”

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