The Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted Senate Resolution 65 on Tuesday, declaring bi-partisan support for Israel in the case of military action against the threat from Iran. The resolution specifies that the United States should provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to Israel “in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.” The Senate was set to vote on the resolution later in the week.
According to the resolution, sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez and Sen. Lindsey Graham, the US’s policy is to halt Iranian nuclear ambitions.
AIPAC issued a statement praising the resolution, which also reiterates that the policy of the United States is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and to take such action as may be necessary to implement this policy.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he would be traveling to Israel next week, his first trip to there since he took over at the Pentagon.
Hagel mentioned the trip during congressional testimony on Tuesday as lawmakers pressed him on whether the United States would support Israel if it launches a strike against Iran. Hagel told a House panel that such a policy decision would be made by President Barack Obama.
Israel fears that Iran is close to producing a nuclear weapon. Tehran insists that the program is for peaceful purposes.
During his contentious confirmation hearing, Hagel faced tough questions on whether he was sufficiently supportive of Israel. He insisted that he was despite previous statements and votes while he served in the Senate.