WASHINGTON — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet in Washington to discuss “regional security challenges.”
The defense chiefs are scheduled to meet Tuesday at the Pentagon, according to a statement from Pentagon spokesman Carlin Woog to JTA.
Israel has welcomed the results of a threat by the Obama administration to strike Syria’s chemical weapons capability, spurring a decision by Syria to allow outside inspectors to destroy its chemical weapons.
Israel has made clear it wants President Obama to apply the same tactics — a credible military threat coupled with diplomacy — in negotiating an end to Iran’s suspected nuclear program.
Ya’alon met Monday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York. The defense minister reportedly told the UN chief that easing sanctions on Iran would would hurt efforts to stop its nuclear program.
In Hassan Rouhani’s address to the UN on September 24, the Iranian president said his country “poses absolutely no threat to the world or the region,” and offered “to engage immediately in time-bound and result-oriented talks” over the nuclear program, “to build mutual confidence and removal of mutual uncertainties with full transparency.”
At the same time, he warned, “Nuclear knowledge in Iran has been domesticated now and the nuclear technology, inclusive of enrichment, has already reached industrial scale. It is, therefore, an illusion, and extremely unrealistic, to presume that the peaceful nature of the nuclear program of Iran could be ensured through impeding the program via illegitimate pressures.”
Israel has indicated since Rouhani’s New York “charm offensive” that it would act alone to prevent a nuclear Iran, with high level officials and top analysts acknowledging that Israel may no longer be able to rely on Obama administration promises regarding the Islamic Republic.