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      Yaalon Met Hagel, Discussed Iran

      Hagel tells Israeli counterpart Israel has the right to defend itself.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 4/22/2013, 1:10 PM

      Yaalon and Hagel
      Yaalon and Hagel
      Photo: Ariel Hermoni

      Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon held a working meeting with his American counterpart, Chuck Hagel, Monday morning.

      Yaalon told Hagel that Israel prefers a diplomatic solution to a military one, regarding Iran's nuclear weapons program.

      Hagel told Yaalon that Israel has the right to defend itself, as President Barack Obama has said.

      The two discussed details of a new arms deal between the U.S. and Israel. Hagel said that the deal would guarantee Israel's aerial superiority into the next generation, and will give the IAF long range abilities.

      There was great concern in Israel that the U.S. would turn its back on Israel after President Obama won a second term. The concern was heightened when Obama selected Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

      Obama's visit to Israel in March and Hagel's visit now appear to have allayed some of this concern.

      If the photo of a beaming Yaalon next to Hagel after the meeting between the two is any indication, the meeting appears to have been a good one.