A joint meeting of senior representatives in the Defense Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office resulted in the decision to temporarily suspend dialogue with the United States regarding defense aid to the Jewish state.
The freeze will remain in place until the conclusion of talks between Iran and P5+1 world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program, if not later.
The main reason for suspending the dialogue, officials told Walla! News, is the mounting tension between the White House and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.
According to a senior defense official, who confirmed the report, freezing talks now will allow Israel to present a new request for defense materials after a deal with Iran has been finalized.
The official asserted that Israel is waiting for negotiations between Iran and Western powers to conclude, to see what exactly the US signs, and from there make demands for maintaining Israel’s security in the region.
Other officials though have suggested Israel may prolong the freeze until a new US president is inaugurated in early 2017, thereby avoiding contact with current US President Barack Obama, whose relationship with Israel has been contentious.
The pressure of a looming nuclear deal with Iran has also begun to affect US officials.
A group of top US experts on security and foreign policy, including former Obama advisors, sent a letter Wednesday night to the President, warning him that the pending accord “may fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a ‘good’ agreement.”