Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to his residence in Jerusalem, during which he reiterated Israel’s deep appreciation for Washington’s continued commitment to the Jewish state.
In a joint press conference, Netanyahu pointed to a series of positive measures taken by President Donald Trump, including his decision to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, his commitment to protecting the Jewish state within international forums, and the crucial security decision to pull-out of the “flawed nuclear deal” with Iran‘s destabilizing Ayatollah regime.
The Israeli Prime Minister stressed that while Washington‘s resolve to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic have applied significant pressure on Tehran, the United States and Israel are working in close coordination to increase that pressure – with the aim of rolling back Iran’s global and regional aggression. “We need to increase it. We need to expand it. And together, the United States and Israel are working in close coordination to roll back Iranian aggression in the region and around the world. The Secretary and I just spent the first part of our meeting discussing exactly how to do that, and I think there are ways that will intensify the pressure even more. Rolling back Iran is in the interest of peace and security and stability for Israel, for our neighbors and for the world,” Netanyahu said.
Prime Minister Netanyahu also took the opportunity to thank the United States for providing Israel with “full backing to defend (itself) against Iran’s aggression, and vowed to continue to take action as needed against the attempts of Iran to entrench itself militarily with dangerous weapons in Syria.” In his words: “I also appreciate the fact that the United States gives Israel the full backing to defend ourselves against Iranian aggression. We will continue to take action as needed against the attempts of Iran to entrench itself militarily with dangerous weapons in Syria. There is no limitation to our freedom of action, and we appreciate very much the fact that the United States backs up our actions as we do them.”
Secretary Pompeo responded by reiterating the Trump Administration’s unparalleled commitment to Israel’s security, underscoring Washington’s continued support for Israel’s right to self-defense. Pompeo said: “The ayatollahs have spent four decades spewing hatred, supporting terrorist violence, and pursuing nuclear weapons for a war against a neighbor that wishes nothing more than to live in peace. The ayatollah has declared that the annihilation and destruction of Israel is his primary goal. With such threats, a daily reality of Israeli life, we maintain our unparalleled commitment to Israel’s security and firmly support your right to defend yourself.”
The American top diplomat emphasized that the support the United States provides its closest ally in the Middle East is not only in words, but also in action. According to the U.S. Secretary of State: “Under the 10-year MOU that we signed in 2016, we provide $3.8 billion annually for security assistance to Israel. And with Israel threatened by rockets and missiles from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere, we are proud to deploy the THAAD anti-missile batteries here.”