Kerry Speaks to Netanyahu, Reaffirms Commitment to Israel

September 8, 2015  

Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the weekend, the State Department said on Tuesday.

According to State Department spokesman John Kirby, in the telephone call, Kerry discussed Iran with Netanyahu and also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.

“The secretary and the prime minister reiterated the need to continue pushing back on Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, and he agreed to continue to have these discussions in the coming weeks,” Kirby was quoted by Reuters as having said at a news briefing.

“The secretary reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and continued military and security relationship,” he added.

Kirby said Kerry and Netanyahu discussed a range of issues, including their concerns over media reports of potential Russian military buildup in Syria, Moscow’s longtime ally.

Details of the phone call emerged just hours after President Barack Obama secured 41 votes in the Senate for the nuclear deal with Iran, just enough to block a final vote on a measure of disapproval.

Senior diplomatic officials in Jerusalem responded to the news that Obama had secured the necessary congressional support for the Iran deal, with one official saying, “There is an overwhelming majority of the American public and members of Congress who are opposed to the agreement with Iran.”

Netanyahu has been one of the fiercest critics of the Iran deal, which has put him at odds with President Obama and his administration.

Obama, however, has dismissed the tension with Netanyahu. In a recent webcast in which he addressed the heads of Jewish communities in North America, the president said that “we’ve repeatedly had times where the administration and the Israeli government had disagreements. That doesn’t affect the core commitments we have for each other.”

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