Earlier in the week Reuters revealed that top US and Israeli officials were in talks to initiate joint military training exercises that focus on preparations to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Defense Minister Benny Gantz has been in Washington this week meeting with Secretary Blinken and others to consider "possible modes of action to ensure the cessation of (Iran's) attempt to enter the nuclear sphere and broaden its activity in the region," according to a prior public statement.
The White House confirmed Thursday that "other options" are on the table should JCPOA nuclear talks in Vienna fail: "The president has asked his team to be prepared in the event that diplomacy fails and we must turn to other options," White House Secretary Jen Psaki said. "We will have no choice but to take additional measures."
In its prior exclusive, Reuters described further that "The scheduled US talks with visiting Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz follow an Oct. 25 briefing by Pentagon leaders to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on the full set of military options available to ensure that Iran would not be able to produce a nuclear weapon, the official said on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity."
On Friday, local Israeli media sources are reporting that the US and Israeli administrations have landed on a one week timetable to see if Vienna negotiations make any progress, after Iran nuclear talks resumed on Thursday. Last week US negotiators said they are still not fully convinced Tehran is "serious" about the talks. Gantz has also reportedly been trying to persuade Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin for both countries to pursue "joint military readiness".
The latest Times of Israel reporting on the "military option" includes the following:
Israel is ramping up preparations for a military option that would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in case the nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers lead to the signing of a “bad deal.” These preparations include an expanded target bank, increased training and the purchase of advanced equipment.
Channel 13 in #Israel reports the US is giving #Iran one final week to see where the negotiations go, and the US has agreed to hold joint training sessions with the IDF for strikes against #Iran nuclear facilities. If true, it's the closest to a deadline I've seen to date. https://t.co/LkiWgYmQOX— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) December 10, 2021
Tel Aviv, meanwhile, has maintained that the Islamic Republic is simply using the Vienna talks to endlessly stall, in order to covertly advance its capability to eventually produce nuclear weapons. Iran has long denied that it's even interested in a nuke, saying its goal is meeting the country's domestic energy needs.
A Biden admin official was cited this week as saying: "We're in this pickle because Iran's nuclear program is advancing to a point beyond which it has any conventional rationale," which echoes Israeli's position.