Iran, Syria central in U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. and Israeli officials addressed the potential for an Iranian nuclear weapon as well as turmoil in Syria in their periodic strategic dialogue.

“Both sides reiterated their determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” said a U.S. State Department statement released Wednesday after the two teams had met.

William Burns, a U.S. deputy secretary of state, and Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, led the teams.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear its concern in recent weeks that renewed talks between Iran and the major powers could lead to an easing of sanctions on Iran before it effectively ends its suspected nuclear weapons program.

“The two delegations reviewed developments in Syria, including efforts to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapon program, as well as threats to regional stability from terrorist groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah and Hamas,” the statement said.

The sides meet about twice a year.

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