US, Israel resume 'strategic dialogue' on Iran



US, Israel resume `strategic dialogue` on Iran Jerusalem: The United States and Israel held a "strategic dialogue" today over Iran's nuclear programme for the first time since US President Barack Obama took office, officials said.

US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg met with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to pick up the regular consultations that were held during the preceding Bush administration.

"The dialogue provided an opportunity for in-depth discussion of a range of regional and international issues, thereby further strengthening the close strategic cooperation between the two countries," the foreign ministry said after the meeting.

Another round of talks would take place in Washington later in the year, it added.

Israeli officials had said the talks would focus primarily on Iran's nuclear programme, which Israel considers its greatest strategic threat.

Meanwhile, a US official described the consultations as a "regularly scheduled annual dialogue" covering a range of regional and security issues not tied to specific events.

The meeting came during a visit to the United States by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak in which he was to meet with several top US officials.

PTI