The US will not be offering Israel new weapons supplies in return for the nuclear deal struck with Iran, Pentagon officials have said, as the US Defence Secretary, Ash Carter, flew to Tel Aviv for talks with the Israeli government. Their comments came as the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, urged the US Congress to hold out for a better Iran deal.
“There are many things to be done to stop Iran’s aggression and this deal is not one of them,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation as he continued a string of US interviews denouncing the deal reached last week between Iran and six major powers. Congress has up to 82 days to decide whether to reject it. Mr Netanyahu believes that the agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear programme will only postpone the moment when Iran becomes a nuclear armed nation, and that relaxing strict sanctions will give it billions of dollars to do so.
Mr Carter is expected to offer other help in improving Israel’s security, including against cyber attacks and maritime threats. Israel also has expressed concern that US sales of advanced weaponry to Gulf Arab states has the potential of offsetting, to some degree, Israel’s qualitative military edge. Aides said that although Mr Carter supported the deal, he had no intention of trying to reverse Israeli opposition to it.