Thursday, December 28, 2017


The Jerusalem Post first came up with an article by Hagay Hacohen which was later substituted on the same link by the present article written by Herb Keinon. If you compare the two, what immediately   pops up is that the words pact and secret have been dropped. 

Secret White House meeting leads to establishment of special US-Israeli work-group meant to prevent Iran from increasing in strength.

Israel and the United States have formed a pact to tackle the Iranian threat together, according to a report by Israel's Channel 10 released Thursday evening. Channel 10 stated that top members of the Trump administration confirmed that team-up was decided upon in a secret meeting between top security officials in both the US and Israel

The meeting was held on December 12, the Israeli team was headed by National Security advisor Meir Ben Shabat and the American team was headed by US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

The result of the meeting was the creation of a document in which the US and Israel agreed on a list of shared strategic goals both nations share. The document is meant to ensure that Trump’s Iran speech from a few months ago would become American policy.

According to the report, One work-group will be tasked with finding both diplomatic and covert means to halt or put a stop to the Iranian effort to gain nuclear capabilities. Another will deal with the ongoing Iranian effort to promote itself as a regional powerhouse in other countries such as Lebanon and Syria.

The group will also form policies and plans for the day in which the Syrian Civil War comes to an end.

A third work group will deal specifically with the Iranian ballistic missiles program and the fourth is tasked with dealing with potential scenarios in which Iran will be involved in a regional conflict that might lead the entire Middle East into a boiling point.

Israeli officials were quoted as saying that “Israel and the US see eye to eye on the regional trends directions” and that both sides are ‘’very pleased” with these new understandings

Top US and Israeli national security officials reached an agreement two weeks ago in Washington on a joint work plan to counter Iranian activity in the Middle East, Channel 10 reported on Thursday.

The document marks the beginning of a new cooperative effort against Iran, a senior US official told The Jerusalem Post.

The document, characterized by a US National Security Council representative as an informal “framework,” follows on President Donald Trump’s speech in October outlining a new American policy approach to the Islamic Republic, where he announced that he would not recertify the Iranian nuclear deal.

“It’s more precise to say that it is a framework document, and not a done and dusted plan,” the US official told the Post. “It is a framework for future cooperation. It is not the end result of a process, it’s more of a beginning.”

The White House declined to comment on whether the agreement commits the US to coordinate its forthcoming strategy on the Iran nuclear deal with the Israelis. But “our goal is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon,” the official said.

“Obviously, there was a major strategy that was announced a few months ago, and there have been meetings subsequent to that shaped by that new strategy,” the official continued. “And obviously Israel is one of our closest allies.”

A spokesman in the Prime Minister’s Office, when asked about the report, would only say that “there was a meeting in Washington.”

The Israeli team was led by National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat, and the US team was led by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Senior defense, intelligence and diplomatic officials from both sides took part in the meeting.

According to the report, an agreement was reached on regional goals in the region and several working groups were set up, including one to deal with joint covert and diplomatic steps to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons and to monitor and verify that it is not violating the nuclear deal signed in 2015.

This group will also focus on placing additional pressure on the Islamic Republic through both covert and diplomatic steps.

Another group was set up to counter Iran’s activity in the region, specifically its support for Hezbollah. This group will also formulate a joint policy regarding Syria after the end of the civil war.

A third group is to work to counter Iranian ballistic missile development and the manufacturing of precision missiles in Syria and Lebanon, and a fourth is to address joint preparation for various scenarios of escalation in the region, be they with Iran or with Hezbollah.