US and Israeli officials meet to discuss Iranian nuclear program

National Security Adviser Tom Donilon concluded a three-day trip to Israel on Monday, during which he met with the country’s top leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, about security threats facing the Israelis amid escalating tension with Iran.

“Mr. Donilon and his delegation addressed the full range of security issues of mutual concern,” the White House said in a statement. “The visit is part of the continuous and intensive dialogue between the United States and Israel and reflects our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.”


Donilon also met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, and National Security Adviser Gen. Yaakov Amidror. 

President Obama will meet with Netanyahu at the White House on March 5.

On Sunday, top-ranking U.S. military official Gen. Martin Dempsey pressed Israel not to unilaterally attack Iran, saying a strike would be “destabilizing and wouldn't achieve their long-term objectives.”

Dempsey, however, said he wasn’t certain if Israel would heed his warning.

“I also understand that Israel has national interests that are unique to them,” he told CNN. “And, of course, they consider Iran to be an existential threat in a way that we have not concluded that Iran is an existential threat.”

U.S. officials have repeatedly said that all options — including military action against Iran — are on the table. Obama is hoping that a series of financial sanctions against the country will provoke it to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Iran, however, insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

On Sunday, Iran said it would halt oil exports to Britain and France in retaliation against new financial sanctions imposed by the European Union.