The U.S. and Israel agreed to a joint strategic work plan to counter Iranian activity in the Middle East during a secret meeting between senior officials at the White House two weeks ago, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.
The plan reportedly calls for coordinated action to thwart Tehran’s nuclear program, deal with its ballistic missile program, and manage Iran’s presence in Syria and its terror proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The document, characterized by a senior U.S. official as a “framework” to confront Iranian aggression in the Middle East, follows on U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech in October in which he outlined a new American policy approach to the Islamic Republic and announced he would not recertify the nuclear accord.
Senior Israeli officials reportedly confirmed that the U.S. and Israel have arrived at strategic understandings: “The U.S. and Israel see eye to eye the different developments in the region and especially those that are connected to Iran,” the official said, adding that “We reached at understandings regarding the strategy and the policy needed to counter Iran. Our understandings deal with the overall strategy but also with concrete goals, way of action and the means which need to be used to get obtain those goals.”
When asked about the report, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office would only say that “there was a meeting in Washington.”
The Israeli team was headed by national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and the U.S. team was led by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Other participants included senior defense, intelligence and diplomatic officials from both countries.
According to the report, an agreement was reached on regional goals and several working groups were formed. The first group is responsible for initiating covert and diplomatic steps to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons and to monitor and verify that the Islamic Republic follows the terms of the nuclear accord.
Another team is tasked with countering Iranian entrenchment efforts in Syria and its support for terrorist proxies across the region, while a third group will focus on thwarting Iranian ballistic missiles development and manufacturing of precision guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon.
A fourth is to address joint preparation for various scenarios of escalation in the region, concerning Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.
[Photo: AJC Global / YouTube]