America’s defense secretary says Israel’s security is a “top priority” for him.
That is what U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at their meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office this morning in Jerusalem.
The meeting was a first stop of three in the region for the American cabinet secretary, and a first cabinet-level state visit to Israel for the Obama administration.
Carter arrived here Sunday night, and met yesterday (Monday, July 20) with his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
“Israel’s security and military edge are a top priority for America, our military, and for me,” the American defense secretary told reporters at a joint news conference.
Perhaps so — but the U.S. agreement with Iran in essence legitimizes the Islamic Republic as a nuclear “threshold state” according to senior Israeli defense officials.
The move also enables Iran to more easily finance and otherwise sponsor terror groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – all of whom operate against Israel in venues around the world.
Carter began his visit to the region in Israel in an attempt to allay concerns over the nuclear deal reached with Tehran last week in Vienna.
He plans to continue on to Jordan and Saudi Arabia where he hopes to calm similar fears in both Sunni nations as well as address the ongoing operations against Da’esh (ISIS). A number of other state leaders involved in that effort will travel to Jordan to meet with Carter and Jordanian military officials about the issue.