U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged a commitment to work with Israel in order to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
We will continue to consult closely as we have on an almost daily basis between our two governments to chart the best way forward for peace and stability for Israel, the United States and the world, she said on Monday, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Clinton met with a number of Israeli politicians during her two-day visit to Israel: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She devoted the bulk of her conversations to Syria, Egypt and Iran, touching only briefly on Palestine.
Despite the fact that both sides pledged cooperation on Iran, Israel and the United States differ markedly in terms of how best to prevent Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Iran currently employs nuclear technology for energy and medicinal purposes; it is presumed not to have reached the uranium enrichment levels necessary for nuclear weaponry. But a 2011 investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency found that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device.
This resulted in an intensification of international efforts to prevent Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons. Diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions are in place, with hopes of convincing Iran to abandon its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly denied that it seeks to build a nuclear bomb.
The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama recommends continuing the sanctions, while Netanyahu and many of his peers have voiced support for a pre-emptive military strike against Iran.
It is a time of uncertainty but also of a big opportunity in the region, said Clinton on Monday. At times like these friends like us need to work together in a smart, creative and courageous way.
Netanyahu also affirmed the two countries' cooperation going forward. We have our common goals to make sure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, he said.