U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.
Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister’s office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.
Driving the news: Israeli officials said the call was meant mainly as an introduction and to kick off the dialogue. They added that one of the issues discussed was Iran.
- In recent days, Sullivan made calls to his counterparts in the U.K., France, Germany, Japan and South Korea.
- The White House did not comment on the call with the Israeli national security adviser.
The big picture: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is concerned about President Biden’s stated goal of trying to resume the nuclear deal with Iran. Such a move could result in tensions between the Biden administration and the Israeli government.
- Secretary of State designate Tony Blinken said at his confirmation hearing this week that “there is a long way” until the Iran deal could be resumed.
- He stressed that the U.S. will consult with Israel and the Gulf states before making any decisions