Israel Sees Slowdown in Iran Nuke Program as Tehran Tops Agenda in Biden-Bennett Talks

Yaniv Kubovich
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Technicians at the Arak heavy water reactor's secondary circuit, as officials and media visit, December 2019.
Technicians at the Arak heavy water reactor's secondary circuit, as officials and media visit, December 2019.Credit: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP
Yaniv Kubovich

Israeli defense officials have been seeing a slowdown in the progress of Iran's nuclear program over the past three months, but are concerned about Tehran's decision to enrich uranium to 60 percent. They attribute this to the renewal of talks between Iran and the United States and Europe, rather than a lack of capabilities or recent damage to production plants.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to tell U.S. President Joe Biden in their meeting on Thursday that the Israeli position on Iran is that Jerusalem has the right to take unilateral action against Tehran if it believes the country is under threat.

Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, touched on the subject in a press briefing on Wednesday.

"The progression of the Iranian nuclear program has led the IDF to accelerate its operational plans," he said, adding that the effort to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is part of a military campaign that the military is conducting "systematically and in various ways in order to limit Iran's influence in the Middle East."

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