Israel believes that Iran's nuclear program should be considered separately from its regional activities in future talks, Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat told Jake Sullivan.
While many critics of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal point out that it does not constrain Iran's aggression in the region, Israel is concerned that linking the two will givet the US and European negotiators an incentive to compromise on Iran's nuclear program limitations, Axios reports citing sources.
The Biden administration says it will bring the US back to the 2015 nuclear deal if Iran reverts to the deal, canceling steps to suspend the deal.
The main stumbling block is the sequence of these moves. Last week, the US offered to start direct talks to work out these issues, but Iran did not formally respond.
Some in the Biden administration are now pushing for a broader, longer-term deal, but Biden's stated goal is to revive the 2015 deal and use it as a platform for further negotiations.
Ben-Shabbat told Sullivan that Israel's position is that Iran's nuclear program is an existential threat and must be fought first, and the lesser threat to Iran's regional behavior should be addressed separately, the sources say.
Israel's national security adviser added that a nuclear-armed Iran would fail to honor anyway.
Over the past month there have been many contacts on Iran between the Biden administration and the Israeli government.
Israeli officials said that they are generally satisfied with what they call the Biden administration's constructive approach and willingness to heed Israel's concerns.