Ya'alon: Nuclear Deal Dispute Between Israel, U.S. Is Over

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, left, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon embrace on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Israel, July 21, 2015. Credit: Reuters

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Wednesday that the dispute between Israel and the United States over the Iran nuclear deal are over.

“The Iran deal is [a] given,” Ya'alon said at a joint press conference in Washington with his U.S. counterpart, Ash Carter. “The disputes are over. Now we have to look to the future.”

Carter said the deal that was reached in July between Iran and six world powers removes the Islamic Republic's nuclear threat, calling it "one critical source of uncertainty and risk.” He added that he is under instruction from U.S. President Barack Obama to ensure the military option remains intact, in case Iran does not implement the agreement, and that the United States briefs Israel "from time to time" on this.

Ya'alon said the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, could keep Iran’s nuclear program at bay for as long as 15 years. After that, he said, “we will again be dealing with a potential nuclear military in Iran. We should be ready.”

The press briefing was held amid two days of meetings between Ya'alon and Carter at the Pentagon.

Carter and Ya'alon told reporters that they discussed ways for Washington to support Israel’s enhanced security requirements due to unrest in the region.

Carter reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security and Ya'alon said Israel has “no greater friend than the United States of America.”

In a joint appearance on Tuesday at Fort McNair, Carter reiterated Washington’s “iron-clad” commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge, and said it would continue to make advance capabilities available to Israel, such as the F-35 stealth fighter.

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