“I want to assure you of the United States’ commitment to ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon - and that America will do what we must to live up to that commitment,” Hagel made the pledge in a statement at talks in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP, 16 May)
Hagel was wrapping up a four-day Middle East visit that began Tuesday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he met with defense ministers from Persian Gulf states. He told those U.S. allies that “under no circumstance” will the U.S. sacrifice their interests in order to make a nuclear deal with Iran.
In Israel, Hagel made a brief visit Thursday to an air base where U.S. and Israeli forces were preparing to begin a missile defense exercise, dubbed “Juniper Cobra,” using computer simulation of potential attack scenarios and post-attack disaster responses.
Photo credit: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin, right, with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Jeruslem, Friday, 16 May 2014. (Mandel Ngan/Pool/AP)