Hosting US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at his office in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel and the US agree on never allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.
“As you know, the US-Israel defense partnership has continually expanded over successive administrations and our cooperation is crucial in dealing with the many threats confronting both the United States and Israel,” Netanyahu said at a press conference alongside Austin.
“Mr. Secretary, we both know the horrors of war. We both understand the importance of preventing war. And we both agree that Iran must never possess nuclear weapons. My policy as prime minister of Israel is clear — I will never allow Iran to obtain the nuclear capability to carry out its genocidal goal of eliminating Israel.
Speaking days after an apparent attack on the Iranian Natanz nuclear facility, which Tehran has blamed on Israel, Netanyahu concluded by saying that “Israel will continue to defend itself against Iran’s aggression and terrorism,” the prime minister added.
Austin, speaking after Netanyahu, refrained from explicitly mentioning Iran but said he had decided to travel to Israel to “express our desire for earnest consultations with Israel, as we address shared challenges in the region.”
With his two-day visit, the first official visit to the Jewish state by an American secretary of defense since 2017, Austin is the first member of US President Joe Biden’s administration to pay an official visit to Israel.
Affirming the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s security and qualitative military edge in the region, Austin said he and Netanyahu discussed “ways to deepen our longstanding defense relationship in the face of regional threats and other security challenges, and I affirm the department’s support for our ongoing diplomatic efforts to normalize relations between Israel and Arab and Muslim-majority nations,” he says.
Read the complete article at: Times of Israel