Apr 11, 2021 - World

Defense Sec. Austin stresses U.S. commitment to Israel's security amid growing Iran tensions

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

Issei Kato/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived for his first visit in Jerusalem amid nuclear talks in Vienna and growing tensions between Israel and Iran.

Why it matters: Austin met his counterpart Benny Gantz and will meet later with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss Iran and regional security issues.

  • In recent weeks there have been a number of attacks between Israel and Iran in the Red Sea and the Gulf.
  • Netanyahu has said Israel will not be bound by any new nuclear deal.

What they are saying: In press statements after the meeting, Gantz said Israel will work with the Biden administration to make sure any future nuclear deal preserves the interests of the world, prevent a nuclear arms race and protect Israel.

  • Austin didn’t mention Iran in his statement and stressed the Biden administration’s commitment to Israel’s security.
  • Meanwhile, Iran announced an "accident" occurred at its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz that the head of Iran's atomic energy organization said "was an act of terrorism."
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