Ya'alon: Iran deal is done

In meeting with American counterpart, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon hints Israel is no longer protesting the Iran nuclear deal.

Elad Benari ,

Ya'alon and Carter hold a news conference at the Pentagon
Ya'alon and Carter hold a news conference at the Pentagon
Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry

The Iran deal is “done” and it is time to look to the future, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Wednesday.

The comments came at a joint news conference at the Pentagon with American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, which came after what Carter described as “two days of very productive meetings”.

“The Iran deal is a given. Our disputes are over. And now we have to look to the future,” Ya’alon declared, according to a report in the Defense News website.

The Israeli minister acknowledged that if the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is verifiably implemented, it would shelve the Iranian nuclear threat for as long as 15 years. But after that, “we will again be dealing with a potential military nuclear Iran. And we must be ready,” he said.

The two ministers said they discussed ways that Washington will support Israel's enhanced security requirements given regional turmoil and growing threats.

“The Mideast is going through dramatic changes, and generational crises are threatening Israel from every direction,” Carter said, according to Defense News.

He then stressed that the United States “always stands with Israel and always will. It’s a top priority for America, for its military, for President Obama and for me personally.”

Without going into details beyond enhanced cyber cooperation and U.S. commitment to provide Israel with the latest technologies, such as the F-35 stealth fighter, Carter said the two leaders “reaffirmed our commitment to working together personally and institutionally.”

Ya’alon stressed taht Israel “has no greater friend than the United States of America” and that American support “is a cornerstone of our national security.”

“There is not one difference of opinion that can undermine our strong relationship,” he was quoted by Defense News as having said.

Ya’alon’s comments are perceived as ending Israel’s objection to Iran’s deal with the West. They come on the heels of comments by senior American officials, who said after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s UN speech that the Israeli premier had said that the UN speech would be his swansong on his public fight against the accord.

Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Obama in Washington on November 9. It will be their first meeting since the Iran deal was reached last summer.

Ya'alon's visit has been described as being meant to discuss American military "compensation" to Israel over the Iran nuclear deal.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook explained earlier on Wednesday that the meeting is to emphasize "the strength of American-Israeli security ties."