|US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (Photo: AP)
Austin is the first high-level member from US President Joe Biden’s Cabinet to travel to Israel since the administration announced it would enter talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
During the first meeting with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz, Austin said that the US considers the alliance between the US and Israel as a key factor for regional security. Gantz affirmed that Israel considers the US a comprehensive partner and will closely cooperate with the US on Iran.
Israel opposes the US's intention to return to the nuclear deal with Iran, arguing that the deal could pave the way for Iran to develop nuclear weapons as well as threaten Israel's survival. Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that an agreement with Iran “would pave the way to nuclear weapons - weapons that threaten our extinction.”