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Thursday, March 20, 2014

DEFENSE SECRETARY HAGEL HAS DISCUSSION OVER IRAN WITH ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER YAALON

FROM: U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 
Secretary Discusses Iran With Israeli Defense Minister
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 20, 2014 – During a phone conversation with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon yesterday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed his deep concern about Yaalon’s reported comments on U.S. policy towards Iran and reiterated the U.S. commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a Defense Department news release.

News reports say Yaalon had recently criticized the U.S. policy towards preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

During his conversation with Hagel, Yaalon clarified his remarks by underscoring his commitment to the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship, Kirby said in the release.

Kirby added that Yaalon also provided Hagel with an update on Israel's security situation, and yesterday's Israeli operation against Syrian military and security targets on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights launched in retaliation for a March 18 bomb attack in the Golan Heights near the Syrian border that left four Israeli soldiers injured.

Hagel expressed his sympathy for the wounded Israeli forces and their families, Kirby said in the release, as well as his concern for the ongoing situation in Syria.
“The secretary and minister pledged to continue working closely with one another on the range of security issues facing the United States and Israel,” Kirby added.