President Obama is sending Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to Israel next week as the Security Cabinet unanimously shot down the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.
“The Security Cabinet unanimously rejected the nuclear agreement with Iran and determined that Israel is not bound by it,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a brief statement.
“The leading international powers have bet our collective future on a deal with the foremost sponsor of international terrorism. They’ve gambled that in ten years’ time, Iran’s terrorist regime will change while removing any incentive for it to do so. In fact, the deal gives Iran every incentive not to change,” Netanayhu said in a statement earlier.
“In the coming decade, the deal will reward Iran, the terrorist regime in Tehran, with hundreds of billions of dollars. This cash bonanza will fuel Iran’s terrorism worldwide, its aggression in the region and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing.”
The White House said this afternoon that Obama spoke by phone with Netanyahu to discuss the agreement.
“He noted that the JCPOA will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon while ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward,” the White House said in a readout of the call. “The President also underscored his Administration’s stalwart commitment to Israel’s security and noted that the JCPOA will remove the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran, an outcome in the national security interest of the United States and Israel.”
“The President told the Prime Minister that today’s agreement on the nuclear issue will not diminish our concerns regarding Iran’s support for terrorism and threats toward Israel. The President noted that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s visit next week to Israel is a reflection of the unprecedented level of security cooperation between the United States and Israel, and that the visit offers a further opportunity to continue our close consultation on security issues with Israeli counterparts as we remain vigilant in countering the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities in the region.”
Carter issued his own statement on the deal today, stressing that “as we implement this historic agreement, deterrence remains a major component of America’s national security.”
“The Department of Defense is today, and will always be ready, to defend the United States and our interests. Our military — including tens of thousands of U.S. forces in the Middle East — are full speed ahead maintaining a strong presence in the Gulf,” Carter continued. “We remain prepared and postured to bolster the security of our friends and allies in the region, including Israel; to defense against aggression; ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf; and check Iranian malign influence. We will utilize the military option if necessary.”