Israeli sources involved in Wednesday’s meeting between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the Central Intelligence Agency’s Head William Burns (PM Bennett Meets with CIA Director William Burns), told Haaretz that the Biden administration, like the Israelis, believes the chances of Iran returning to the nuclear deal are low (ארה”ב שותפה להערכה הישראלית: הסיכוי שאיראן תחזור להסכם הגרעין נמוך).
At the same time, according to those sources, while Israel wants to mobilize the United States to show a more significant military threat to Iran, “it isn’t clear that the Americans intend to respond militarily and it’s unlikely at the moment that there will be such a response.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also met with Burns and discussed with him the enhancement of intelligence cooperation between the two allies. “During the meeting, I presented him with information on Iran’s aggressive actions in the region and the acceleration of the nuclear project,” Gantz said, noting: “I expressed the need to tighten operations in the international field to maintain the stability of the region.”
The two also discussed “the need to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and other moderate elements in the region.”
Data collected by Israeli intelligence agencies indicate recent significant progress in Iran’s nuclear program. While the nuclear agreement allowed Iran to enrich only 300 kg of 3.67% enriched uranium, in practice the Iranian nuclear program deviated significantly. Israel estimates that Iran has ten kilograms of 60% enriched uranium, 140 kg of 20% enriched uranium, and 2,500 kg of 4% enriched uranium. Israel has documented information showing Iran uses hundreds of advanced centrifuges which are banned under the nuclear deal. Also, the enrichment to 20% is carried out at the Fordo facility, in violation of the agreement.