Pentagon chief declares US commitment to “ironclad” to Israel

Israeli Tel Aviv — US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declared a “permanent and iron-walled” US commitment to Israel on Sunday, strengthening support for tense times in Israeli politics and with Israel’s archenemy, Iran. In a question about the Byden administration’s efforts to revive nuclear negotiations.

Since Austin took office as Pentagon chief in January, the first talks in Israel were the development of Middle East diplomacy by the Trump administration, which mediated a deal by the United States to normalize relations between Israel and some Arab countries. Because I am trying to utilize.

The Defense Minister arrived after Iran reported that it had lost power just hours after launching a new advanced centrifuge capable of concentrating uranium faster at its underground Natanz nuclear facility, whether by accident or not. .. If Israel causes a power outage, it further heightens tensions between Israel and the Iranian regime and is already involved in shadow conflicts throughout the wider Middle East. Iran called it an act of “nuclear terrorism,” but did not immediately blame anyone directly.

After meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv, Austin reaffirmed that “our commitment to Israel is permanent and ironclad.” Austin did not mention Iran. In his own remarks while standing by Austin, Gantz said his country sees the United States as a “perfect partner” to the threat, “at least Iran.” Neither official was asked by the reporter.

“Today’s Tehran poses a strategic threat to international security, the entire Middle East, and the state of Israel,” Gantz said in a prepared statement. “We will work closely with our allies to protect Israel as a new agreement with Iran secures significant interests for the world and the United States, prevents dangerous arms race in our region Make sure that. “

Joel Guzansky, a senior researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv think tank, said Austin’s visit was important because it was the first visit by a member of President Joe Biden’s cabinet.

“They want to show that they came here with clean hands, and they want to hear,” Guzansky said. “They want to listen to Israel’s concerns about negotiations about Iran and perhaps other partners’ concerns.”

Austin is infiltrated into the finer details of Middle East defense and security issues. He served as the head of the United States Central Command for four years, ending his 41-year Army career, including commanding the United States Army in Iraq.

Flying all night from Washington, Austin arrived in Tel Aviv in the tense aftermath of his fourth uncertain election in the last two years. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin last week gave the embarrassed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a difficult task in trying to establish a new government.

The main background to Austin’s visit is the Israeli government’s concern that the Biden administration is trying to come up with an arrangement to re-enter Iran’s nuclear deal, which is a fatal flaw in Israeli view. Netanyahu has described Iran as a threat to its existence for many years as Iran pursued nuclear weapons and supported terrorist groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Netanyahu, who heads the nation with its own secret nuclear weapons program, has accused Iran of looking for nuclear weapons to use in ballistic missiles. Iran claims that its nuclear program is peaceful. Netanyahu also continues to criticize Iran’s nuclear deal, which limits Tehran’s ability to concentrate and stockpile uranium and prevent it from making weapons.

“History has taught us that such a deal with such a radical regime is of no value,” Netanyahu said last week.

Last week, an Iranian ship, which is said to be functioning as a base for the Revolutionary Guard Corps, was hit by an explosion off the coast of Yemen. Iran blamed Israel for the explosion.

In addition to the recurring guarantees of the Republican and Democratic governments that the United States will endeavor to maintain Israel’s qualitative military power against local enemies, Washington has helped Israel develop missile defense technology for years. I have invested a lot in doing things.

Iron Dome is one of the most notable successes in Israeli missile defense. This is a mobile rocket prevention system developed to intercept short-range unguided rockets. Since it was deployed 10 years ago, it has shot down more than 2,000 projectiles launched from the Gaza Strip. The US Army recently purchased two Iron Dome batteries at Congress’s request to counter cruise missiles.