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Despite Austin’s visit, Israel not reassured on Iran

Israel welcomes US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on a first official visit to Israel, though it is not at all sure whether the visit would calm down Israeli concerns over a US deal with Iran.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (L) speaks with Franciscan monks outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem's Old City, April 11, 2021.

Israeli media raised concerns on April 11 over US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin avoiding to mention Iran in his joint press conference in Tel Aviv with Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Addressing journalists, Austin conveyed the administration's strong commitment to Israel, stating that "during our meeting, I reaffirmed to Minister Gantz our commitment to Israel is enduring, and it is ironclad. And I pledge to continue close consultations in order to ensure Israel's qualitative military edge and to strengthen Israel's security."

In contrast, Gantz addressed specifically the Iranian threat, stating that Israel "regards the United States as a full partner across all operational threats, not the least, Iran." Gantz then added, "We will work closely with our American allies to ensure that any new agreement with Iran will secure the vital interests of the world, of the United States; prevent dangerous unrest in our region; and protect the State of Israel."

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