Carter To Israel

By Tony Bertuca / July 14, 2015 at 2:34 PM

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is being dispatched to Israel by President Obama next week to reassure the Israelis of the United States' continued commitment to their security in wake of a historic nuclear agreement with Iran that has been denounced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a White House statement.

In a call with Netanyahu earlier today, Obama "noted that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter's visit next week to Israel is a reflection of the unprecedented level of security cooperation between the United States and Israel, and that the visit offers a further opportunity to continue our close consultation on security issues with Israeli counterparts as we remain vigilant in countering the Iranian regime's destabilizing activities in the region," according to a White House readout.

Though Carter released a statement praising the new deal with Iran, he asserted that the United states remained ready to defend its interests and those of its allies, noting that military options remain on the table to "check Iranian malign influence."

"The Department of Defense is today, and will always be ready, to defend the United States and our interests," Carter said. "Our military -- including tens of thousands of U.S. forces in the Middle East -- are full speed ahead maintaining a strong presence in the Gulf. We remain prepared and postured to bolster the security of our friends and allies in the region, including Israel; to defend against aggression; ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf; and check Iranian malign influence. We will utilize the military option if necessary."