Pentagon Chief to Visit Region Over Iran Deal

Pentagon Chief to Visit Region Over Iran DealPentagon Chief to Visit Region Over Iran Deal

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will travel to Israel and Saudi Arabia this week to clear doubts over Iran’s nuclear deal with the West.

Carter, who will also visit Jordan, will be renewing US security commitments in the region, some of which serve as a buffer to Iran’s alleged “destabilizing behavior,” a senior Pentagon official said, World Bulletin reported.

On Tuesday, Carter will meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared the landmark agreement as a “historic mistake.”

The Times of Israel said Netanyahu has also repeatedly threatened to take military action if necessary to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“The deal won’t change radically what we do here at the Defense Department,” the US official insisted, dismissing suggestions of increased US military aid to Israel or Saudi Arabia, or new arms deals with them.

“We are committed to maintaining a strong presence, particularly in the (Persian) Gulf. But frankly, they are the same conversation we would have if there was no deal that had been signed.”

Carter will be expected to discuss military and weapons procurement. Israel had long opposed the emerging terms of the deal with Iran.

“We will be prepared and postured to support the security of our allies, particularly Israel,” the US official said.

Carter is scheduled to hold meetings in Israel on Monday and Tuesday, before traveling to Saudi Arabia and Jordan, though the details of his schedule have not yet been finalized.