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June 14, 2021 6:05 pm

Gantz Vows to Work With US on Preventing Nuclear Iran in Meeting With Biden Envoy

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz meeting Monday with US Chargé d’Affaires Michael Ratney. Photo: Tal Oz / Israeli Ministry of Defense

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz told interim American envoy to Israel Michael Ratney on Monday that the Jewish state will continue to work with the US on preventing a nuclear Iran.

“I emphasized that ours is a dialogue between strategic allies and friends in closed rooms, who share a concern for the stability and best interest of the region and the world,” Gantz said.

A round of indirect talks between the US, Iran, and other world powers taking place in Vienna is seeking to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that was abandoned three years later by then-president Donald Trump.

Israeli’s incoming Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that Israel needs to prepare quickly for the return of the nuclear deal with Iran.

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“It was a bad deal. I opposed it. I still oppose it. Israel could have, with a different approach, influenced it far more,” Lapid said. “Israel will do whatever it takes to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear bomb.”

Gantz, who was sworn in  as part of Israel’s 36th government on Sunday, remarked that he had a “constructive” meeting with Ratney on Monday in Tel Aviv.

“We discussed a host of issues on our agenda, including moves to advance actions in the Gaza Strip so as to foster long-term stability and promote the return of our captives & MIAs,” Gantz said.

On Sunday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III congratulated Gantz on his appointment as the Minister of Defense in the country’s new government confirming that the US commitment to Israel’s security remains “ironclad.”

“Secretary Austin looks forward to continuing the important cooperation and dialogue with Minister Gantz to deepen the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership,” according to a readout by Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby.

“I greatly look forward to continuing the paramount work alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin to protect the steadfast alliance between Israel and the US, the stability of the Middle East, and the safety of our peoples,” Gantz commented in response.

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