Gantz in Washington to discuss Iran and Russia with Pentagon chief Austin
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz is in Washington to meet US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, amid Israeli-Russian tensions and Iran’s close proximity to producing a nuclear bomb, i24 News reports. The meeting will be held on Thursday and will focus on joint Israeli-US security cooperation.
Gantz’s trip to the US comes as Russian forces stationed in Syria reportedly fired at Israeli jets carrying out counter-terrorism airstrikes on Iran-backed Hezbollah targets in the war-torn country on Friday.
While Russia is a major ally of Syria’s dictator Bashir al-Assad and has a strong military presence in the country, President Vladimir Putin had previously agreed to turn a blind eye to Israeli airstrikes.
Putin believes that Iran is a destabilizing force in the Middle East. Putin’s attitude toward Israel appears to have changed in light of Jerusalem’s condemnation of his invasion of Ukraine.
The US trip also comes days after Gantz announced Iran is just “weeks away” from producing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb.
In a statement about meeting with Austin and Sullivan, Gantz said prior to leaving Israel on Tuesday evening: “I will discuss strengthening joint security cooperation and dealing with regional challenges, foremost among which is Iran, against whom all moderate players in the region must unite,” Gantz said.
“We will also discuss Ukraine and other important issues for global, regional, and Israeli security,” Gantz added.
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