Avigdor Liberman talks Iran with Ash Carter in London

By JTA
September 8, 2016 23:21

Liberman’s spokesman described the Wednesday meeting as conducted in a “good and friendly atmosphere,” adding that Carter accepted the defense minister’s invitation to visit Israel this year.

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DEFENSE MINISTER Avigdor Liberman meets his US counterpart in London on Wednesday.

DEFENSE MINISTER Avigdor Liberman meets his US counterpart in London on Wednesday.. (photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter met this week in London, where they discussed Iran and several other pressing regional security issues.

Liberman’s spokesman described the Wednesday meeting as conducted in a “good and friendly atmosphere,” adding that Carter accepted the defense minister’s invitation to visit Israel this year.

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The fact that the two men discussed Iran may be a signal the Obama administration is moving past Liberman’s likening last month of the Iran nuclear deal to the 1938 Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany, after Liberman issued a subsequent clarification.

“The secretary and minister discussed regional security challenges in the Middle East including the ISIL threat, Iran, ways to expand and accelerate cyber coordination, as well as other areas of mutual defense cooperation,” said a statement from the Pentagon on Wednesday.

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu distanced himself from Liberman’s original statement likening the Iran nuclear deal to the pre-World War II Munich pact, which acquiesced in Germany’s annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia in a failed bid to head off further invasions.

“The Israeli defense establishment believes that agreements have value only if they are based on reality,” the statement from Liberman’s ministry said at the time.

The statement came after US President Barack Obama again defended the Iran deal by noting that some retired Israeli officials had said it reduced for now the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Defense assistance was also addressed at the Carter-Liberman meeting.

“The secretary reaffirmed the US commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge and to strong US-Israel defense relations.

Secretary Carter told the minister he looks forward to visiting Israel later this year,” the Pentagon statement said.


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