Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz (left) and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a meeting on the sidelines of the Aspen Security Forum on July 22, 2022

Israel, US Discuss Defense Cooperation Against Iranian Threat

Sunday, 07/24/2022

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to discuss deepening bilateral defense cooperation in face of the Iranian threat.

The two held a meeting on the sidelines of the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, where they also discussed President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia and its effects on ways to strengthen regional cooperation.

“We discussed the growing threat posed by Iran to the world, the region and to the State of Israel via its nuclear program and growing aggression via proxies, maritime activities, cyberattacks and more, and ways to create a united front against the region’s biggest destabilizer,” Gantz tweeted.

Gantz also held separate meetings with former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of defense Mark Esper, and Iowa’s Republican Senator Joni Ernst

In an interview during the Aspen forum, Gantz noted that war with Iran was the least desired option, saying, “Should we jump to a war at the first opportunity we have? No. Should we be able to conduct military operations to prevent it [a nuclear Iran] if needed, the answer is ‘yes.’ Are we building the ability [for war]? Yes. Should we use it as a last case? Yes – and I hope that we will get US support.”

During Biden’s trip, the Jerusalem US-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration was issued in which Washington reaffirmed its commitment “never to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon” and promised that Israel had a right to defend itself by itself.”

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