'We have to shore up our alliance with Israel'

House Speaker Paul Ryan tells AIPAC conference that the United States must stand by its allies, especially Israel.

Elad Benari ,

Paul Ryan at 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference
Paul Ryan at 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference

The Iran deal is “terrible”, House Speaker Paul Ryan told the AIPAC Policy Conference on Monday, in a speech that focused on the American-Israel relationship and its importance.

“Because of this deal, our friends in the Middle East are losing faith in us, or at least in our judgment,” he said, warning that the deal was a “steal” for the Islamic Republic.

“It was a steal and that's even if they don't cheat,” said Ryan, who added that “it is fine to negotiate with our enemies – but not at our friends' expense.”

The deal legitimized Iran's nuclear program, he continued, noting the nuclear program is a threat to the United States just as much as it is a threat to Israel.

Ryan began his remarks by expressing his support for Israel and saying he would make Israel the first foreign country he visits as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“We have to do everything we can to shore up our alliance,” he told the crowd, adding that the United States must continue to provide defense aid to Israel in order to help protect it.

With regards to the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group, Ryan said that Israel is the group's first target but that its ultimate target is the United States.

“We must stop any attempt by any other country to boycott, divest from or sanction Israel,” he added, noting his rejection of the BDS movement. “What all this does is send a signal that America has no greater friend than Israel.”

“A confident America stands by its allies. A confident America stands by Israel,” stressed Ryan.